The AMC series updates its protagonist and timeline to bring new bite and passion to Anne Rice’s novel

Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire Premiere Review - First 2 Episodes


Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire premieres on AMC on Oct. 2, 2022.

Apart from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire is arguably the most influential inspiration for the modern vampire canon. The two-episode premiere of AMC’s Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire makes an excellent case for its continued relevance by serving as both a retelling of and sequel to Rice’s literary debut, showing a deep understanding of the source material even as it rewrites the story to deepen its central conflicts.
The show imagines that the young journalist referred to only as “the boy” in the book never published the interview he conducted in 1973 with the weary vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson). Now an isolated old man, Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) is given a second chance to tell the story of how a New Orleans resident met the seductive French vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and became a creature of the night.
The 10 Best Vampire Anime, RankedVampire stories have been haunting humans for millennia, but if you're looking for the best vampire anime stories specifically, this is the list for you.10. Vampire Knight (2008)<br/>Based on the manga series by Matsuri Hino, this shōjo series was a staple for '00s emo teens. In a very questionable academic setup, Cross Academy has two streams of students: the Day Class, who are humans; and the Night Class, who are vampires.9. Vampire Princess Miyu (1997)<br/>This haunting slowburn anime series focuses on the ethereal lead bloodsucker. But unlike your normal vamps, Miyu is a Daywalker, allowing her to attend school as the perfect cover for her activities as a hunter of violent demons known as Shinma.8. Blood-C (2011)<br/>The first of two Blood: The Last Vampire adaptations on our list, Blood-C is a dark and horror-soaked adventure that introduces viewers to Saya, a school girl by day and brutal demon slayer by night.7. Bakemonogatari (2009)<br/>The Monogatari light novel series written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Vofan has long been delighting vampire fans, not least because they inspired this charming 15 episode series and its sequels. The experimental and abstract anime adaption takes an unusually artistic approach to fanservice, merging it with introspective and thoughtful character interactions.6. Blood Lad (2011)<br/>Blood Lad is the slice of life vampire story that you never knew you needed. Over the hundreds of years of vampire stories there are multiple reimaginings and reconsiderations of the iconic figure of the surly, dangerous bloodsucker. But Staz, the powerful vampire at the center of this tale, couldn't be less interested in the usual activities of the undead.
Not just the times have changed, but so has the story itself. Some of the lines are taken straight from the book, but the show takes major liberties with the plot. The timeline is pushed forward and Louis has been changed from a white plantation owner to the Creole proprietor of a brothel in New Orleans’ Storyville red light district. The queer subtext has also evolved into a fully developed homesexual relationship between Louis and Lestat.
Those rewrites provide rich ground to further develop the setting and characters. Series creator Rolin Jones previously worked on Boardwalk Empire and his version of Louis shares a lot in common with Michael K. Williams’ Albert White. Both are Black men who managed to earn wealth and status in a segregated city by becoming vice purveyors to powerful white men. While they’ve brought prosperity and respectability to their families, they also struggle with the limits of what they’re able to accomplish.
Lestat feeds upon that turmoil, with Episode 1 largely focused on the protagonists’ exhilarating courtship. Louis is repressed in every way, hiding his sexuality and constantly forced to contain his rage and disappointment with the way he’s belittled by the men he works so hard to impress. Lestat flaunts his money and vampiric abilities to show Louis how little power they actually have. The show takes a light touch with special effects by making those powers chillingly subtle. During a poker game, Lestat seems to drone on in polite conversation, but he’s slowing time so he can simultaneously have a private conversation with Louis and manipulate the cards to give him a winning hand.
Lestat offers Louis a look behind the curtain at another way of life — or unlife — seducing him in every way possible. The show leans into the eroticism of vampire stories with explicit sex scenes while exploring the inherent power imbalances between the two that come from Lestat’s age and abilities as well as the privileges he enjoys just by being a white man. Lestat tries to cheer up the perpetually brooding Louis with opera tickets even though they’re more a gift for himself. That’s not because Louis doesn’t enjoy the music but because he’s infuriated that he has to pretend to be Lestat’s servant to get into the segregated theater.
It’s a testament to the show’s actors that their performances in no way feel like a downgrade.
Yet the love between them feels genuine, a dynamic developed by spicing the show’s drama and horror with humor. In a beautiful bit of scene setting, their coffins are shown side by side after they’ve had a fight, Lestat’s disembodied voice asking Louis to talk to him because he doesn’t like going to bed angry.
These characters were played by Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire, and it’s a testament to the show’s actors that their performances in no way feel like a downgrade. Reid nails Lestat’s swagger while also seeming to channel a bit of Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal as he revels in luxury and shows contempt for everyone around him except the man that has captured his obsessive interest. Anderson deserved more screen time as Grey Worm on Game of Thrones and his soulful and passionate performance in Interview with a Vampire demonstrates just how wasted his talents were. A monologue where Louis confesses the lies he tells himself and his fears about Lestat could easily come off as an overwrought cliche, but Anderson’s delivery is electrifying.
Borgosian is the third star of the show, stepping into the role previously played by Christian Slater. This version of Interview with the Vampire does significantly more with the frame story, with Daniel constantly pushing back against Lois’ accounts. When Lois gushes about the indescribable joy of first experiencing a vampire’s enhanced senses, Daniel dismisses it as being just like any other high. When Lois describes the horrifying temptation to feed on a newborn, Daniel urges him to cut to the chase and tell him whether or not he ate the baby. Borgosian’s dry delivery adds humor to the scenes while also providing a clever twist on the audience stand-in as he asks questions with analytical detachment.
Daniel seems to know Louis almost as well as Lestat, baiting him with his stubborn refusal to be shocked or impressed even as the vampire works hard to do both. While the show is accessible to newcomers, it’s worth reading the book or watching the movie first just to see how much the writers have changed the characters by having Louis revel in the vampiric nature he once abhorred. His posh home in a skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates is almost as lush a setting as the series’ version of New Orleans, staffed by so many servants that it hints at an unsettlingly vast infrastructure the vampire has built around meeting his needs. An extended dinner scene where Louis enjoys several courses of blood while Daniel watches has the same mix of decadence and cruelty as one of Hannibal’s dinner parties.
25 Best Vampire Movies of All TimeVampires are a cornerstone of horror cinema, arising even before Universal opened Dracula’s coffin in Hollywood’s relative infancy. Since then, we’ve seen vampires of every iteration — the glittery heartthrobs, the ugliest creatures, the prankster roommates, and countless other reinventions.<b>25. Buffy the Vampire Slayer</b>
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We’re talking about the 1992 feature starring Kristy Swanson, not the worshiped television show. Before Sarah Michelle Gellar started staking vamps on television, Swanson starred in a '90s horror comedy that favored pep rally humor over sharpened weapons. Swanson’s vibing off the bubblegum-popping cheerleader stereotypes of '90s high school comedies that never let cheer squad captains be more than ditzy love interests, let alone vampire slayers. What it represents for young girls seeing themselves as horror heroes is iconic, and its class-clown act holds up whether Luke Perry tells a levitating David Arquette to go home or Paul Reubens sells the hammiest vampire death ever. Horror’s not only for the boys anymore, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a big step in the right direction as far as the '90s were concerned.<b>24. Vampyr</b>
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Criterion has dubbed 1932’s Vampyr a horror classic with good reason. Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer implements what little technological advancements benefitted cinema at the time to create a black-and-white vampire mystery that operates in absurdist brush strokes. Most notably, Vampyr heavily uses shadows that maneuver with free will, giving a dreamlike state to supernatural influences. It’s no Nosferatu, but it exemplifies how vampire flicks can differentiate themselves through translucent visual effects and more ghostly disorientation even in days when techniques were limited. You can never stifle ambition, which will always find a way.<b>23. Bit</b>
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The “Vibe Check” on Brad Michael Elmore’s Bit passes with flying (neon) colors. Nicole Maines stars as a transgender teenage girl who moves to Los Angeles and falls in with a badass crew of vampires (run by cooler-than-everyone Diana Hopper as Duke) who do not allow men in their undead club. Elmore’s indie oozes LA’er attitudes from messaging to sexy nightlife scenes — complete with a needle drop of Starcrawler’s “I Love LA” — and boasts 10 times the style of contemporary vampire flicks with 10 times the budget. It feels authentic in thematic messages, ambitious yet wholly operating within its means, and still has some nice bloodletting for more hardcore horror fans despite execution that might favor younger audiences. A film that’s never shy about what’s on the tin and even holds its feminist message accountable is better for its slick-supportive-seductive ways.<b>22. Fright Night (2011)</b>
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Yes, 2011’s Fright Night remake earns an entry while the beloved 1985 original does not. Why? Because 2011’s Fright Night, starring Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and Toni Collette, is an upgrade in fierceness and pacing, and separates its performances from the originals enough to exist without competing against its elders. There’s no comparison between Peter Vincents or Jerry Dandriges — Farrell operates like a shark smelling blood and David Tennant is the Midori-drunk Vegas showman dealing with darker demons. The '85 version’s practical effects are superior without argument, but Fright Night (2011) gets more credit everywhere else. It’s dreadfully predatory from the get-go and never relents.<b>21. Bloodsucking Bastards</b>
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Vampirism can represent numerous metaphors — for example, vampirism as addiction is popular — and in Bloocksucking Bastards, vampires invade office spaces. The horror comedy starring Fran Kranz and Pedro Pascal is about a sales office slowly turning into nocturnal sales agents of doom. The soul-sucking drain of cubicle life becomes quite literal because vampires can be more productive than humans who sleep, take lunch breaks, and so forth. What starts as a spooky Workaholics episode eventually reveals the satirical staying power of a Mike Judge comedy, as Bloodsucking Bastards unleashes undead corporate warfare with supply closet tools used as weapons. For the horror comedy fans in your life who love “Worksploitation” horror (exploitation flicks about day jobs), this is one cold call you should answer.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Samantha Nelson

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