Movie - Interview with the Vampire

Release Date: 11 November 1994 (USA)
Genre: Horror
Tagline: Drink From Me And Live Forever
Runtime: 123 mins
Director: Neil Jordan
Producer: David Geffen, Stephen Woolley
Writer: Anne Rice (screenplay), Anne Rice (novel)


Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is a 1994 film, based on the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. The film was directed by Neil Jordan, and stars Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Kirsten Dunst. It was a box office hit, generating a little over $100 million in domestic receipts.

The film opens in present day San Francisco, where reporter Daniel Malloy (Christian Slater), is sitting in a room with a man named Louis (Brad Pitt), who claims to be a vampire. Malloy is unconvinced until Louis turns on the light and instantly appears in front of him, moving extremely fast. He agrees to interview Louis, who recalls his previous life and his life as a vampire.

It is 1791, and Louis is struggling to cope with the loss of his wife and child, not caring if he lives or dies. The Vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise) attacks him but also offers him a chance to be reborn. Louis decides to take him up on the offer and Lestat proceeds to transform him into a vampire. Lestat begins showing Louis how to live the life of a vampire: sleeping in coffins by day and preying on unsuspecting mortals by night. Louis is not comfortable bringing harm to humans, however, and opts for feeding on animals instead, defying all of Lestat's attempts to turn Louis to the vampire lifestyle. A despondent Louis finally succumbs and bites his faithful housemaid (Thandie Newton), killing her. He then burns down his estate, intending to perish in the flames, but Lestat rescues him and the two now-homeless vampires flee.

Renting an apartment in New Orleans proper, the two continue to terrorize the public, with Louis still trying to refuse Lestat's ways. Louis eventually gives in to his bloodlust and bites a young girl, Claudia (Kirsten Dunst). Lestat arrives at the scene and mocks him; Louis takes off, disgusted by his actions. Lestat later takes him back to the dying girl and transforms her into a child vampire "daughter" for himself and Louis, to prevent Louis from ever leaving him. Louis reluctantly accepts Claudia, but his scorn for Lestat grows.

Claudia, under Lestat's tutelage, soon turns into a sadistic killer, frequently toying with her victims before killing them, all the while developing a strong bond with Louis. Thirty years pass and Claudia is left wondering why she remains an eternal child. Lestat explains that she can never grow up due to the effects of the transformation, which she hates him for. She asks Louis how she came to be and Louis takes her to the place where he bit her 30 years before. Outraged, Claudia expresses her hate for him too and runs away, leaving Louis alone and in tears. However, Claudia returns and forgives him, knowing that Lestat was really responsible for her condition. She wishes for herself and Louis to leave Lestat but Louis says Lestat would never allow it. With that in mind, Claudia tricks Lestat into drinking blood from two dead children. As he is weakened, she slashes his throat. She and Louis dump his body in a swamp but he later returns, having drained the blood of crocodiles and other swamp life to survive. Lestat attacks them but Louis sets him on fire and flees to Paris with Claudia, leaving Lestat for dead.

In Paris, Louis and Claudia live in perfect harmony but Louis is still bothered by the question of how vampires came to be and if there are any other vampires on earth. One night, while walking the streets, he meets vampires Santiago (Stephen Rea) and Armand (Antonio Banderas), who tell him that there are other vampires in Paris and that he knows the answers Louis has been searching for. Armand invites Louis and Claudia to his coven, the Theatre des Vampires, where they witness Armand and his coven dispatching of a terrified human woman before an unsuspecting human audience. Armand later takes them to his lair and offers Louis a place by his side, while secretly telling Claudia to leave him. Louis refuses to leave his beloved Claudia, however, and leaves the lair. As he does, Santiago warns him that his vampire coven knows about Lestat's murder and that it is forbidden for vampires to kill another vampire. Louis returns alone to Armand's lair, where Armand proceeds to reveal that Louis is a unique vampire as he possesses a human soul and is connected to the "broken-hearted" spirit of the 19th Century. Louis becomes thoroughly smitten by Armand and resolves to leave Claudia at long last.

Returning to his residence, Louis finds that Claudia has brought home a human woman, Madeleine, with the intent that Louis turn her into a vampire to serve as a companion and protector before he leaves. Louis reluctantly gives in and transforms Madeleine, forcing Claudia to admit that they are now even and can part on good terms. Immediately after, however, the Parisian vampires burst in and abduct all three of them. As punishment for Lestat's murder, they imprison Louis in a metal coffin and lock Claudia and Madeleine into an airshaft with an open roof. The next morning, the rising sun floods the airshaft and Claudia and Madeleine are burnt to ashes. Armand frees Louis, who searches for Claudia and is horrified and grief-stricken when he comes across her ashen remains. He returns that night to the Theatre and burns them all alive in their own theatre as they sleep. Armand arrives in time to help him escape, and once again offers him a place by his side. Louis once again refuses, knowing that Armand choreographed Claudia's demise in an attempt to get Louis all to himself, and he leaves Armand for good.

Decades pass, with Louis exploring the world alone. He later returns to New Orleans and finds Lestat, still alive but a mere shadow of his former self. Lestat asks Louis to rejoin him, but Louis rejects him and leaves.

At this point Louis concludes the interview, which Malloy, the interviewer, cannot accept. He asks Louis to transform him so he can see what is truly like to be a vampire, but Louis throttles him in a fit of rage, nearly killing him, and vanishes. Malloy hurriedly runs to his car and drives away, feeling happy with his interview as he plays it through the cassette player. Just then, Lestat, who had apparently been hiding in the back seat, attacks him and takes control of the car. Revived by Malloy's blood, he then offers a dying Malloy "the choice I never had" as they drive off into the San Francisco night, taking out the cassette and turning on the radio, which is playing "Sympathy for the Devil."