tek's rating: ¼

Interview With the Vampire (R)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

This is a 1994 movie, based on a 1976 novel by Anne Rice, who is of course famous for writing vampire novels, though I'm afraid I haven't read any of them. Perhaps I should, someday. The novel was the first of a series to feature a vampire named Lestat (played in the movie by Tom Cruise), though the main character in the movie (and I would presume the novel) was a vampire sired by Lestat, named Louis (Brad Pitt). Anyway, I should say I was torn about whether to include this review under the heading of "scary" or "supernatural," but ultimately chose the latter. While there are several scary scenes, I see it more as a drama than a horror movie. I should also like to say that I first saw the movie probably not too long after it came out... within a few years, anyway. I think I had it on VHS, but I only watched it once. Years later, I got it on DVD, and watched the movie for the second time in 2011. Anyway, I didn't remember much about it, except for Claudia (Kirsten Dusnt), a young vampire who was sort of co-sired by Lestat and Louis.

Anyway, the movie starts in San Francisco, in the present (I'm not sure if it was supposed to be the time the movie came out, or the time the novel came out, though I suppose an 18 year gap doesn't mean much to a vampire, anyway). The scenes set in the present serve as a framework for the movie, in which a reporter named Daniel Molloy (Christian Slater) was interviewing Louis, who told him his life story. The movie was mostly flashbacks to the events being described by Louis, but it would periodically return to the present. He starts his story in 1791, when he was 24 years old, a wealthy property owner near New Orleans, mourning the death of his wife and child. He wanted to die, but soon ends up being turned into a vampire by the mysterious Lestat. Louis would spend a lot of time trying to avoid drinking human blood, surviving instead on rats and chickens and such. Lestat would constantly try to get him to embrace his true nature as a vampire, however. And eventually, Louis would do so, though he always seemed conflicted about it.

Louis burns down his home in an attempt to kill himself, but he's rescued by Lestat, and they begin traveling together. (I can't help wondering where they got their money, as they always lived in style. It's hard to imagine Louis had any money left, and I got the impression that when Lestat showed up he was just mooching off Louis. Certainly there's no evidence of either of them ever working. Though I suppose they could have stolen from the people they killed.) Eventually, they meet a girl named Claudia. Her mother had died of the plague, and Louis drinks Claudia's blood, leaving her for dead; but later, Lestat gives his own blood to her, turning her into one of them. He thought Louis needed a companion, whom he might like better than he did Lestat. Claudia immediately develops a thirst for blood, and becomes a merciless killer, even more so than Lestat himself (though somehow, this doesn't stop Louis from loving her like a daughter). Thirty years pass, and in Louis's narration, he says something about how they were all now Americans, which struck me as odd, since I thought of Louisiana as part of the United States. But... I forget my history. Of course that wasn't until 1803. Whatever, the important thing is that Claudia eventually becomes furious at what Lestat and Louis had done to her, because she now realizes she'll never grow up. (Her mental state seems to be a mix of adult and child at this point, but of course physically she'll always be a child.)

I don't want to give certain plot points away, but eventually Louis and Claudia leave Lestat behind, and head to Europe, to search for others of their kind. After awhile, they go to Paris, which is of great significance to Louis because Louisiana had of course been a French territory, when he was alive. They meet a group of theatrical vampires, led by someone named Armand (Antonio Banderas), who would like Louis to join him. There's something about Louis which is different from other vampires; basically, his soul is more human, for no readily apparent reason that I could see. And somehow, this supposedly gives him a greater ability to adapt to the changing world, which is harder for other vampires. Meanwhile, the other Parisian vampires are very much against Louis, and especially Claudia, for reasons I won't get into. And... I don't want to say any more about what happens in the movie.

Anyway... I have to say that all the actors in Interview did a fine job, and the story was reasonably interesting. And as I said before, I'd like to read the novels. I should also say the movie is well-scored. Good cinematography, costumes, sets, and effects. And... whatever, I dunno. It's just a good movie, but not one I expect to find as memorable as I'd like to....

See also Queen of the Damned.

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