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Overall Rating
3.77

Awesome47.69%
Worth A Look: 15.38%
Average: 10%
Pretty Bad: 20%
Total Crap: 6.92%

4 reviews, 106 user ratings


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Interview with the Vampire
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Underrated marriage of Neil Jordan and Anne Rice."
5 stars

Neil Jordan's 'Interview with the Vampire' survives its pre-release buzz good and bad and emerges as a first-rate work of goth splendor.

Anne Rice's novel (she also did the script) was a three-way cult item -- a book that appealed to horror fans, women, and gay men (each group sees something different in the story) -- and the movie should satisfy all three. Director Neil Jordan, who has a flair for dark enchantment (particularly in The Company of Wolves), perfectly captures the threatening beauty of New Orleans after midnight. The movie draws you in and enfolds you in a thick fog of menace. Jordan is a master of poetic, deceptive atmosphere. At the same time, he isn't afraid to break the spell with a shocking image or a dash of morbid slapstick.

You're probably sick of hearing about the Tom Cruise two-step: Everyone, including Rice, questioned his ability to play Lestat, the sardonic, sadistic, sophisticated vampire; then everyone, including Rice, did an about-face and said, Hey, he ain't too shabby. I'd go further. This is perhaps Cruise's best work since Born on the Fourth of July, and not just because he plays a villain. The qualities that Cruise's detractors most resent -- his air of self-satisfaction, his chiselled physical perfection -- are just right for Lestat. He's an American Lestat, just as the other major role is filled by an American, and I hardly think this should be the movie that turns us into purists demanding that French characters be played by French actors. This is not, after all, Napoleon -- he's a fictional character in a vampire movie. It's an enormously entertaining performance, even if Cruise sounds dubbed some of the time. He's such an evil sprite that the movie inevitably loses steam when he's not around. But Jordan keeps the images coming.

Rice's idea was to tell the story through the eyes of a more "innocent" vampire -- Louis (Brad Pitt), a depressed young man who can't accept the bottom line of vampirism. (Killing people is in the job description.) Louis forms a fatherly bond with Claudia (Kirsten Dunst in a chilling performance), the little girl he initiates into vampirism. Together, they flee to Paris, the setting for the film's widely ridiculed but, I think, most upsetting sequence. The two stumble upon some sort of vampire theater group -- Rice's metaphor, maybe, for gays in the arts: hounded, misunderstood people of the night, who transform their skill at hiding their identities into the art of performance. (Of course, the vampires-as-gays metaphor probably isn't meant to be pushed too far; readers will plug into what's emotionally relevant to them, and disregard literal-minded details.)

The vampire performers stage a show in which they murder and drain a nude, terrified woman before a sickened audience (which thinks it's all fake, part of the show). Throughout the movie, Jordan has toyed with our expectations: He knows we want to see blood sucked -- that's been the appeal of vampire movies since Murnau -- but he brings out the cruelty of the act, the horror of a woman looking down to see a crimson stain spreading across her breast where Lestat has chomped her. In the theater sequence, Jordan forces us to question what we've been enjoying as bloody entertainment. The woman is sacrificed for our voyeuristic sins.

Interview with the Vampire could be a little tighter. The seemingly indestructible Lestat keeps popping up in various stages of decay, and Jordan doesn't do enough with the vampiric code that states Thou Shalt Not Kill Fellow Vampires: Why are Louis and Claudia punished for killing Lestat, who never stays dead anyway? We spend most of our time with Louis, which is unfortunate, since Brad Pitt plays him as a sullen party-pooper. (Maybe that's the trap of the character. One can't help noticing that Rice's subsequent books in the Vampire Chronicles focus on Lestat, not Louis.) And I hated the end-titles music: Guns 'n' Roses covering "Sympathy for the Devil." If any rock star is a soulmate to Lestat, it's Mick Jagger, and Jordan should have stuck with the Stones original.

Otherwise, 'Interview' is a rarity: an elegant, truly unsettling horror film in a mostly toothless period for American movies.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=768&reviewer=416
originally posted: 02/02/07 12:55:54
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User Comments

3/30/10 PAUL SHORTT UNAPPEALING AND BROODING, DESPITE GOOD SET-PIECES 2 stars
2/05/09 Faraz J Excellent story and acting by the 3 leads. Kirsten was amazingly good, 5 stars
1/21/09 Anonymous. good creepy movie. :] 4 stars
1/19/09 Fruitcake angel Sumptuous, elegant vampire moviie. 4 stars
12/01/08 Tomi Great stuff 4 stars
11/09/08 Dr.Lao Not bad, but why is it supposed to be great? 3 stars
6/26/08 flora one of the bext vampire movies ever. pitt and cruise had chemistry! dunst was superb! 5 stars
5/26/08 Roz One of Tom Cruise's more impressive roles. Same for Kirsten Dunst too. 5 stars
5/01/08 art a very DIFFERENY VAMPIRE STORY TO SAY THE LEAST 3 stars
12/06/07 Pamela White typical goulish genre, tries to humanize vampires but hard to sell 2 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Sterile, sexless adaptation of a stirring novel.Cruise & Pitt=no chemistry! 2 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday This is one I've loved since the first time I saw it. Loved the cast. 5 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca I loved the books and still didn't hate this movie. 4 stars
2/03/07 David Pollastrini didn't find it very scary. Liked the concept though. 3 stars
12/21/06 Bitchflaps Abysmal, pretentious film for pretentious people who read pretentious books. 1 stars
10/27/06 garcia, grace ann a. very impressing! 5 stars
6/02/06 LC Excellent movie! 5 stars
5/12/06 mr.seraph i found this movie was beautiful especialy with the lighting 5 stars
10/26/05 noops gr8 acting by cruise & brad pitt,a decent movie 4 stars
10/10/05 Agent Sands Fucking great. I know Anne Rice wasn't impressed, but I definitely am. 5 stars
8/31/05 Indrid Cold The dreary story feels longer than it is, several interesting moments though. 3 stars
8/26/05 ES Cruise was fairly decent as the comic relief, Pitt's acting is abyssmal, as usual 3 stars
8/25/05 Eden Well directed but boring and lifeless. Strangely homoerotic 2 stars
8/15/05 Aldo it doesn't really go nowhere....great cast thats it.. 2 stars
7/21/05 John what a bore 1 stars
2/15/05 J. Elaine Greenup Really Cool! 5 stars
2/02/05 CelticDawn Good movie, but a little freaky at times 4 stars
1/18/05 Steve Newman Heap of shit - what a disappointment (get the book its better) 1 stars
1/02/05 Samuel pretty good. 4 stars
12/15/04 Tom Benton The best vampire movie yet; wonderfully directed, with flawless production design. 5 stars
11/08/04 Birdie Amazing film... book was just a bit better 5 stars
8/08/04 McGraw Lush, fantastic, with Jordan's expert direction and Cruise's scenery-chewing preformance. 5 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart this was a touching film and all about lust and pain the story istouching 4 stars
4/11/04 christine this is the best movie ever 5 stars
4/06/04 jennifer this movie kicks ass 5 stars
3/30/04 vegeta999 I felt that the movie stayed true to the themes and mood expressed in the novel. Wonderful. 5 stars
2/08/04 ladeela alright movie but has THE BEST ending EVER 4 stars
1/25/04 Nanja I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! No really, I simply adore it. 5 stars
12/20/03 john giving this movie to Neil Jordan to direct is like giving "The Untouchables" to Bergman 1 stars
12/05/03 Phil A quality film noir 5 stars
11/25/03 Thiago Best vampire film ever. I love Anne Rice's novels, they should all become movies. 5 stars
11/01/03 I Would An incohesive story is not helped by this film's abundance of unintentional laughs 2 stars
10/14/03 jamie zeleniak I have seen this movie several times nd I love this movie! 5 stars
9/21/03 Darryl One of the FEW movies with Cruise that I actually think is okay. 3 stars
6/22/03 cochese boring 2 stars
4/23/03 Fergus boring as all hell. Horror my ass. Fight should've lasted longer b/w louie & santiago. 2 stars
3/07/03 Glenn Just blows me away, top 5 5 stars
1/26/03 helen boyd excellent film 5 stars
1/03/03 Empress of Misrule best Cruise role to date - still, wonder how he felt being out-acted by a 12-year-old? 4 stars
11/20/02 Casey C. Tom's Lestat sucked but the others were awesome (Pitt & Dunst)! 5 stars
11/09/02 Steve laughable 1 stars
11/06/02 Daniel This should be in the chick flick section, not the horror section. 2 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Rice was right the first time- Cruise is terrible 2 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim EVEN Tom is good in this one! Love him breaking Brad's balls! Dunst memorable too! 5 stars
5/11/02 Butterbean My favorite vampire movie. Pitt and Cruise were surprisingly brilliant in this. 5 stars
4/11/02 Sheila T. Awsome movie!! This movie tells about the more human side of the vampire 5 stars
4/02/02 Film Guy Diffrent look towards Vampires. a Good film 5 stars
3/02/02 Alex Ross I've directed high school plays that were far, far superior in all respects to this crap! 1 stars
2/26/02 Meryl K. The reviewers are quite obviously insane. Awesome version of an awesome book. 5 stars
2/22/02 mwildema some what interesting 3 stars
2/05/02 Frances Hey it's not so bad is it? I thought it was quite cool! 4 stars
12/19/01 Monya_t This movie is, by far, one of the most realistic interpretations of the so-called "vampire" 5 stars
11/27/01 KMG This is a very very good movie, beautiful love story...not a vamp flick at all. 5 stars
11/02/01 Andrew Carden Kirstin Dunst Is Good, but The Movie Is Overall A Bad Rehash Of The Classic Drac Films. 2 stars
10/02/01 stacey great movie 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith A "different" vampire story! Worth seeing! 4 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean I never thought I would be turned on by homoerotica 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Believable period piece. One of the best vampire movies around. 4 stars
7/29/01 Jennifer Gaissert Cruise was miscast, the rest was quite good 4 stars
7/17/01 Piz take away Pitt, Cruise, Slater, and this movie gets shitty reviews...way overrated 2 stars
6/20/01 Dylan good 5 stars
6/20/01 houbara The best horror film ive seen- and oh that Brad Pitt! 5 stars
6/02/01 Basil Kirsten Dunst was excellent. 5 stars
4/03/01 NightRain Beautiful and sublte eroticism. And very realistic. Brad, Tom do another one! 5 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L This is a VERY good, and different, vampire movie, but its not Hammer films.... 5 stars
3/12/01 Jon Cotleur This movie's about to be blasphemized by its 'sequel.' Better honor it while I can. 5 stars
3/08/01 Sanja love the roles 4 stars
2/22/01 Amadeo Forever The Shadow Wraith(amadeoest) It is the best and most realistic vampire movie i have ever seen and I still watch it today 5 stars
1/25/01 Princess Lissa Brad is so hot, i don't think that the movie is that bad. i loved it! 5 stars
11/24/00 The Evil Penguin toooooooooooooooooooooooooo overrated 2 stars
11/10/00 Ben Very good start, but a cheap and self-defeating finish. 4 stars
9/26/00 Edwina Leavy This was one of the best movies that I think Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise has done together. 5 stars
7/19/00 Naushad Khanji So bad and utterly boring that you will scream in agony 1 stars
6/04/00 The Vampire Hojo Cruise is astounding. Dunst has one of the all-time best child performances. Flawless movie 5 stars
6/02/00 Wafer An awesome movie that I still watch all the time 5 stars
5/25/00 Elvisfan Dunst & her agression made the guys look like they were in a coma; Brad was good too 4 stars
4/24/00 Ryan By far... one of the best films ever made.... 5 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski On par with "Bram Stoker's Dracula"...KICKS ASS!!! 5 stars
1/18/00 Jedi15 Finally, the way vampires REALLY are! Give me this over Dracula any day! 5 stars
1/04/00 PervertedPixie Dunst is an absolute mistress! Cruise and Banderas are camp beyond belief! 5 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Easily the best vamp flick of all time. 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta This film is character! Brilliant! I see why Anne Rice was pleased. 5 stars
5/29/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! Great Directing/Casting & suspense,a timeless classic 5 stars
5/24/99 PurityJustBegs A metaphorical, involving film that entrances and provokes...brilliant and amazing! 5 stars
3/08/99 CanadianChica Dunst was very good, Brad was better. 4 stars
3/01/99 Spankey We love you Brad!! Kristen Dunst was amazing...could have been shorter 5 stars
1/07/99 Jo Mama a very human view of vampires 5 stars
1/03/99 Dasha I loved it. Much better than the novel. 5 stars
12/06/98 Ryan Meade Tedious in the extreme - I can't believe Jordan went on to direct the sublime Butcher Boy 1 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob Damn, I like this one. Just creeps in there, I guess. 5 stars
10/21/98 Sailor Moon Ate My Balls Screw this shit, vampires suck ass. If you like it, then you're just a dumbass suck, ok? 2 stars
9/29/98 katherine I like this film. i have an intererst in vampires. 4 stars
9/28/98 Heather I've seen this one over and over, and I always drool over the costuming! 5 stars
9/23/98 Patti Brad Pitt is hot, and the story is great. I will admit that the book was better though. 5 stars
9/13/98 BBReBozo I fell asleep, woke up and saw Banderas. I went back to sleep. 1 stars
9/02/98 J-Guy good film, again, too trendy. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Nov-1994 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Neil Jordan

Written by
  Anne Rice

Cast
  Brad Pitt
  Christian Slater
  Tom Cruise
  Antonio Banderas
  Kirsten Dunst
  Thandie Newton



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