Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

“Interview with the Vampire” is campy and dark and borderline Grand Guignol. And those are the things I like about it.

Where it goes wrong is when it settles into Louis’ guilt. This is a film where we need to see that guilt but not feel it. When we confront something honest, the artifice of “Interview with the Vampire” wobbles and you realize how ridiculous the movie is. It only works when it’s a Lestat story, not a Louis story.

Anne Rice wrote both the novel (which I read ages ago and don’t remember well) and the screenplay, so I can’t blame a disconnect between the screenwriter and the book author for the film’s choppiness. Well, I guess I can blame a screenwriter-author disconnect, but in this case the blame lies with a single person.

“Interview with the Vampire” falls into the common issue of a book narrative being dismantled and rebuilt into screenplay form. The film translation loses connectivity and flow. (A related example: The Harry Potter books immerse you in the universe but the movies are tourists in that world.)

That said, a “Vampire Chronicles” TV series could work, and it’s something we’ll probably see in the next few years. AMC recently acquired the rights to a big chunk of Rice’s catalog.