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Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Drink from me and live forever

Directed by:

Neil Jordan

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 118 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

Brad Pitt plays Louis de Pointe du Lac, a vampire who chooses to tell his story to Daniel Malloy (Christian Slater), a curious reporter who he agrees to meet. He tells Daniel that he was once an 18th century Louisiana plantation owner whose wife had died and who had largely lost the will to live. A chance encounter with a vampire called Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise) resulted in him being offered the chance of a new life as a vampire. Never truly realising the implications until it was too late, Louis accepted, and found himself being a companion to the exotic and extreme Lestat.

Louis describes how, in his loneliness, he and Lestat turned a little girl called Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) into a vampire who joined their little family, trapping Claudia in the body of a child even as the years passed and her mind matured into that of a woman. He discovered that he hated having to kill humans and was tormented by what he had become. Eventually he decided to seek out other vampires, looking for kindred spirits, and this led him on a journey of discovery to the Theatre of the Vampires in Paris, where he met Armand (Antonio Banderas) and Santiago (Stephen Rea), and discovered more about the hidden world that is vampire society.

This is a beautifully made film with the highest production values – it looks lavish and elegant, and brings to life the depth, colour and exuberance of 18th century New Orleans and Paris. The story stays quite close to the original novel, and the script is well-adapted for the screen. Brad Pitt is effective as the conscience-ridden Louis, while Tom Cruise is outstanding as the larger-than-life Lestat. If it has a failing, it is the performance of Kirsten Dunst as Claudia – she does lack depth and maturity as Claudia ages – it must be said though that casting this role was always going to be something of an impossible task. Overall, however, this is an enjoyable and outstanding production that largely deserves the accolades it has received.

Based on the best-selling novel by Anne Rice.

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It's Got: Fabulous production values and great performances from Cruise and Pitt.

It Needs: More depth from Claudia as she grows older.

DVD Extras It’s nice to see behind the scenes on this lavish production, however one might have expected more to be included with a disc that calls itself a Special Edition. Extras: Director’s commentary, Behind the scenes documentary, Special introduction by Anne Rice and Neil Jordan, Theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Alternatives:

Blade, Queen of the Damned, The Breed

Summary

This is a lavish and beautiful vampire film, with fantastic characters and plenty of atmosphere, that will appeal to audiences far broader than those who usually enjoy the horror genre.

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