Interview with the Vampire
Dir: Neil Jordan
Star: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1994
Format: DVD R2

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to talk to a vampire? A journalist (Christian Slater) gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that through a chance meeting with Louis (Brad Pitt), who goes on to tell his life story since his introduction to the "darkness".

After losing his wife and child, Louis turns to a life of excess, both drinking and women, which will inevitably lead him to self-destruction. At this vulnerable point in Louis' life, the vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise) offers him a 'choice' between death and eternal life as a vampire. Although Louis chooses vampirism, he finds it difficult to come to terms with his new identity and his need to drink the blood of humans. This later leads to him setting fire to his oppulent plantation house in New Orleans and provides for an eventful, and sometimes destructive, relationship between himself and Lestat. After they move to Paris, a "daughter", Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) is initiated into the maelstrom of their friendship adding further complications and disagreements. The story continues to hot up when Louis discovers a group of vampires performing in a Parisian theatre.

Interview with the Vampire is based upon the bestselling novel by Anne Rice, and as a fan of the book, I am afraid to say that I was disappointed before the film was even released when I heard that Tom Cruise would be playing Lestat. Although I think that Cruise is a good actor and I can't knock his performance in this role, he just is not Lestat. This aside, the film does feature some excellent cinematography with some clever use of special effects, especially during the transformation from human to vampire. In comparison to the book though, the film is sadly lacking in many areas, including the over emphasis on an apparent homosexual relationship between Louis and Lestat, and a penchant for waffle throughout.

The acting, on the whole, is very good. Kirsten Dunst ( Spiderman) puts in a spectacular performance as Claudia considering her age at the time of filming and the adult themes she had to portray. Antonio Banderas appears as Armand, the leader of the actors at the "Theatre of Vampires", and successfully bores you to death with a rather long-winded and pointless speech to Louis, but I think this is the fault of the script rather than his performance.

To compare Interview with the Vampire to the likes of Bram Stoker's - Dracula or From Dusk Till Dawn isn't possible. The story is more about the relationships between vampires rather than those between vampires and humans, like in Dracula, and it is does not have the gratuitous fight scenes between humans and vampires that From Dusk Till Dawn has. Interview with the Vampire spends the majority of the time building the characters and developing their inter-relationships, which is a fairly unique perspective, but it can get boring. There are intermittent periods of action but blink and you may miss them.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Good quality image
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Very good quality sound
Features Semi animated menu
Dull audio commentary from director Neil Jordan
Special introduction from author Anne Rice and director Neil Jordan
"In The Shadow Of The Vampire" - pretty good documentary
Theatrical trailer
"History Of The Vampire" - interesting text document
Verdict Not a terrible disc, but rather limited on extras. A poor presentation for my money

Rating: 2 out of 5

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