Fangoria just released an awesome write-up/revisit on HABIT, written, directed, and starring Fessenden. As writer Ken W. Hanley states, HABIT is “an astoundingly well-made tale of sex, blood and psychological distress that functions as not only a great horror film, but a great film period.”
For those unfamiliar with this macabre indie masterpiece, HABIT follows a young, alcoholic man grieving the loss of his father and a recent break-up, who meets an enigmatic young woman at a Halloween party. Soon, he finds himself inexplicably obsessed with the woman, with whom he embarks in a sexually-driven relationship that involves violent nightly trysts and orgasmic bloodletting. However, the man soons finds himself experiencing an inexplicable illness, and as his symptoms become worse, he begins to suspect that his partner may be something more vicious than a vixen.
But to Fessenden’s credit, HABIT doesn’t look like a horror movie; in fact, the style of the film is incredible indicative of the work of his indie contemporaries Abel Ferrara, Jim Jarmusch and Richard Linklater in that there’s a very purposeful, intimate composition of every shot, yet the camera is allowed to breathe and move around. The film’s descent from urban fantasy to hallucinatory fever dream terror is gradual and contemplative but also hypnotic in a sense, and the audience gets almost a claustrophobic sense from the predicament from our hero. And once the film goes firmly into genre territory, it’s completely in line with the narrative, with drives just enough doubt into the situation to ride the line of psychological horror and full-on vampire flick.