Saturday, December 20, 2014

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

Movie Name: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
Year of Release: 1994
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, Stephen Rea, Christian Slater, Thandie Newton, Domiziana Giordano, Laure Marsac, Roger Lloyd Pack
Genre: Horror, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Following the critical and commercial success of the wonderful "The Crying Game", the talented Neil Jordan tackled the long in development adaptation of Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire". The film follows the story of young and handsome, Louis Pointe du Lac, the proprietor of a large plantation in New Orleans, in the 18th century. Following the death of his wife and daughter, Louis who longs to join his dearly loved ones, is turned into a vampire, by the seductive and lethal Lestat de Lioncourt. Unlike Louis, Lestat is devoid of qualms when the need to satiate his thirst arises, killing without remorse. When their relationship threatens to strain beyond repair, Lestat turns a young girl into a vampire, in the hopes of creating a tranquil home life. However the young girl's plans are quite different, and Lestat soon finds himself as the target of her vengeance. Fleeing to Europe, Louis and Claudia, find themselves in the company of other vampires, who become suspicious of their American counterparts.
Director Neil Jordan had tackled the horror/fantasy genre before in his career, namely with the fantastic "The Company of Wolves" in 1984, and with less illustrious results, "High Spirits" in 1988 (though the director was excluded of the editing process for this latter film). "Interview with the Vampire" turned out to be a huge hit in 1994, due to the fantastic cast assembled, but the film in itself, is quite faithful to the original novel and is quite successful in creating a somber, intelligent, and simultaneously menacing tone throughout it's duration. Neil Jordan builds a universe where vampires question their immortality and deal with the passing of time as their worst enemy - their incapacity to adjust to times as civilization evolves, is always their fear. Louis, with his guilt and ultimately, his shred of humanity, manages to be a unique creature within this species, and as such, is desired by several of his counterparts. The assembled cast is uniformly good, with Tom Cruise creating a menacing and entertaining villain, balanced by the more introspective tone of Brad Pitt's Louis. The film is visually exquisite, thanks to the work of Philippe Rousselot, also benefiting from a fantastic score by Elliot Goldenthal.  A great film always worth revisiting.