Interview With The Vampire (1994)

2h 3m / R / Fantasy, Horror

Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis (Brad Pitt) is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer: Suicidal after the death of his family, he met Lestat (Tom Cruise), a vampire who persuaded him to choose immortality over death and become his companion. Eventually, gentle Louis resolved to leave his violent maker, but Lestat guilted him into staying by turning a young girl — whose addition to the “family” breeds even more conflict. The film also stars Antonio Banderas, who learned his entire part phonetically and still manages to out-vamp everybody else on screen.

Pretty much since their invention, vampire stories gave people a way to talk about the bestial destructiveness of lust without having to address the actual mechanics of sexuality. Vampires are seductive, immensely powerful, doomed by their own gift, shunned by angels and embraced by demons. Anne Rice made a lot of that subtext into text when she started her incredibly popular series of vampire novels, of which Interview with the Vampire was an adaptation. But even though society is less repressed now, laundering those ideas through vampire fantasy isn’t any less popular. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (and Kirsten Dunst in her first major role as the poor, doomed child-vamp Claudia) rampage through New Orleans and Paris like sumptuous, moody, Goth forces of nature. If you think of tragic beauty (and brocade) when you think of vampires, thank Interview.

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