AMC+ is a bold new streaming service that is quickly making its mark on audiences with a collection of incredibly detailed, and lavish new productions, and its new flagship title, a scintillating and dangerous adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, leaves its mark on audiences.
A sensuous, contemporary reinvention of Anne Rice’s revolutionary gothic novel, Interview with the Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and Claudia’s (Bailey Bass) epic story of love, blood, and the perils of immortality, as told to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). Chafing at the limitations of life as a black man in 1910s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist the rakish Lestat’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion. But Louis’s intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement.
Adapting the late great Anne Rice’s best-selling novel, and the start of her Vampire Chronicles, and which will be adapted and expanded for AMC+ under the banner of the Immortal Universe, Interview with the Vampire finds new life in long-form streaming. And it’s a series that’s got a bite to it. While the 1994 adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt was a smash hit and continues to hold its cult audience, this new adaptation of the material strays closer to the original context of the source material, while also updating and bringing crisp new life to the series. Once again the immortal Louis de Pointe du Lac, now played by Jacob Anderson, tells his story to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian), although there is an illusion to their original interview in late 1970s San Francisco when Daniel was a youth, and it’s this re-use of the past, mixed with the modern, that will keep audiences on their toes.
While audiences might think they know this story they’ll be in for a surprise, as series showrunner Rolin Jones makes some interesting new narrative choices, that stay true to the series’ overall narrative but give it a bit more of an edge. In this adaptation, Louis’ confrontation with the villainous Lestat de Lioncourt occurs in 1910 New Orleans, and there are many new twists and turns that arise out of this adaptation. This narrative of Interview with the Vampire has a completely different style and tone to it and its visuals will incite your senses thanks to the luxury and atmosphere that is delivered to the show. This heightened gothic ambience is present in both the past and the present of the narrative, and Interview with the Vampire is a real feast for the eyes.
The casting of Interview with the Vampire is excellent and its core performers keep the twists coming. As Louis de Pointe du Lac, Jacob Anderson straddles the line between youthful vampire expression and an aged self-loathing as the blood and death begin to eat away at him as he lives over the coming century. There’s a maturity in his performance, and he brings to life the darkness and chilling feeling that resides in Louis’ cold dead heart.
In juxtaposition to Anderson’s Louis is Sam Reid as the infamous Lestat de Lioncourt. Dubbed the ‘Brat Prince’, Lestat serves as both hero and villain of Interview with the Vampire and Reid portrays him with a real sense of zeal and glee, as he embraces his monstrous side. Reid’s Lestat is a creature of many different sides, and he steals every scene in which he appears. Vain, arrogant, impulsive and dangerous, Reid gives an utterly complex performance as Lestat, and with equal parts charisma and bloodletting, he makes his impression on the audience.
Interview with the Vampire is a series that goes for the throat, and there’s plenty of gore and a whole host of scares that will keep audiences amped up. While the original 1994 film was more traditional in its depiction of horror, this new series leans into the frenzied side of these monsters and the gore factor is sure to give audiences a hell of a fright. There are plenty of scary moments, and the blood flows, and audiences who are wanting a fright will get it with this series.
With its’ bold characters, erotic sensibilities and refreshing take on a classic narrative, Interview with the Vampire is a series that will take audiences by surprise and delivers some serious horror. We’re only at the start of this new immortal saga, but I have a feeling that the intensity will only be raised further, and the blood will flow.
Interview with the Vampire is currently streaming on AMC+