I am a sucker for a good vampire movie and An Interview with the Vampire is a horror movie that I can watch again, and again and again! Remembering how good Anne Rice's original book was, I went to the cinema with some trepidation when this came out so many years ago. Many movie adaptations - notably Edgar Allan Poe stories - just fail to come up to standard compared with the book. Perhaps it is for that reason that Anne Rice did not at first support the movie, but she came on board with a great screenplay and this classic was born.
In the 1980s, the horror genre degenerated into a series of bloodbaths and gratuitously violent video nasties that just left the true Gothic horror fans reeling. That seemed to be offside by "spoof horror" movies that seemed to be targeted at students. Neither to me was satisfactory. Now looking back at the great classic horror movies and more recently masterpieces like An Interview with the Vampire , Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have taken us back to the original idea.
A good horror movie should be like a Greek tragedy, the characters should be real, the action on a grand scale and we should experience a catharsis that leaves us questioning the human condition itself.
Without An Interview with the Vampire, I doubt there would have been a Twilight series either... a series I love! The reason I find this movie so very special is how easy it is to empathize not only with Louis, the reluctant "vegetarian" vampire, but also with the child vampire Claudia, who is played by a very young Kristen Dunst, and Tom Cruise's evil vampire Lestat whom Louis and Claudia attempt to murder. Whereas the vampires live a sumptious lifestyle (giving rise to great period drama scenes), this contrasts with an endless search for their own kind that culminates in meeting Armand. Louis is spellbound by Armand, the oldest vampire (Antonio Banderas), but ultimately this leads to tragedy for Claudia and her "mother". Once more Louis is alone, which sets him up for the interview with the news reporter.
What eventually kills vampires it turns out is future shock as they are unable to adapt mentally to the speed of modern life. The vampire coven turns out to be so evil and hate driven that we are bound to be on Claudia's side despite her voracious killing of human beings. Nothing in this movie is black and white. Morality is relative to the backdrop of murder and human mortality. There are evil vampires and there are good vampires which is perplexing! I loved the novel, and I loved the way the movie brings this all to life. I have watched An Interview with the Vampire many times now, and I am sure I will be watching it many times more!