Classic Film Review: Interview With the Vampire (1994)

So I just finished watching the 1994 film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire…

Based on the novel of the same name, this film tells the story of a news reporter who interviews a man named Louis, who is in fact a vampire. Starting in the 1700s, Louis tells the story of him becoming a vampire at the hands of one named Lestat, and their tumultuous relationship. At one point, Louis feeds on the blood of a small child named Claudia, and Lestat transforms her into a vampire as well. The rest of the film deals with their broken relationship, the murder of Lestat at Claudia’s hands, and Louis and Claudia’s adventures in Paris with a vampire named Armand.

It was alright. A decent little movie about sexuality and its many emotional pitfalls.

Okay script, good characters and performances (Tom Cruise, like he did with Anne Rice, exceeded expectations and was delightful as Lestat; Brad Pitt was great as Louis; and little Kirsten Dunst was okay as Claudia), good cinematography and editing, great set design, decent make up and special effects, etc.

Anne Rice did an alright job of streamlining her novel into a 2 hour movie. She managed to rearrange pieces and cut some of the fat and made it quicker to get through. The part I most enjoyed was how they handled Lestat, and cutting him from the final scenes in the Vampire Theatre. Treating the reveal that Lestat is still alive as more of a footnote than a major plot revelation was very good. Plus, the way they set up The Vampire Lestat was very fun, and more entertaining than the way the book did it if I may say so.

Further, Neil Jordan did a good job of bringing this all to life. The shot composition and editing was alot better than I expected it to be. It was very interesting and gave the film this gothic feel that was perfect for Rice’s story.

However, the streamlining of this story left out alot of the deeper character development from the book. It rushed through and cut out many scenes from the book that inform Louis’ pain as a vampire, and the tumultuous relationship that all three of these characters have.

Moreover, I just could not get behind Christian Slater in the role of the interviewer. In the book, he’s referred to by the third person narrator as a “boy” and I take that to mean he’s a very young man. Slater’s face wasn’t boyish enough for me, I think. Had River Phoenix not died, he probably would have been better for the role. Alternatively, Leonardo Dicaprio was only 20-ish at that time and would have looked the part more.

Overall, this was an okay time. Nothing spectacular, but it brought to life what people seem to love about this book. Give it a go if you’re a big vampire fanatic or a fan of Anne Rice’s novels.

6.5 out of 10

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