When I was a Freshman in high school one of my best friends lent me her copy of the book, Interview With The Vampire. I took it with me everywhere. I devoured it, finding a kindred sadness with the main character that I had been discouraged from expressing in other parts of my life. That one book opened up a whole new world of vampires and vampire lore to me. They were an obsession. They helped me through tough teenage times just as much as my real life friends, who were also obsessed with them, did.
I was cautiously excited when a television series of the same name was announced. Partially because other projects have fallen short in the past. Partially because I was concerned about translating the works of Anne Rice into a television series. There is a lot in the series of books that I was unsure of being presented to modern audiences. There are many…interesting elements in the book series. However as we got closer and I saw how passionate the cast and crew were, my unease lessened. Passion goes a long way for me and it got me to tune in every week for the show.
As the story goes, renowned journalist Daniel Malloy has been invited to have the chance of a lifetime, to interview an actual vampire. This is not their first meeting though. Their first attempt at an interview took place in the 1970s and almost had a disastrous ending. Now, an older and wiser, Malloy takes a seat across from Louis de Pointe du Lac to try again. Louis has an amazing story to tell him. The story of how he became a vampire, the consequences of that decision and those who have been a part of his immortal life thus far.
Interview With The Vampire is an astonishing piece of media. The work that went into building the sets to create the world in the past is just phenomenal. The costume design is also a thing of beauty. Decades dance by in a swirl of pattern and material. The music is also perfect. The practical effects really lend to the story, which is important in any story about supernatural creatures.
I was surprised by the amount of humor in the series. Too often people take vampires too seriously. The structure of setting up a scare and setting up a joke are the same. They also have the same effect of a release from buildup so I am grateful that the writers utilized humor. Also, as many fans of Anne Rice can attest to, the original source material of the story can be very heavy. Anne started the series after the death of her daughter and all of her sorrow seems to have been poured into Louis in the original source material. It could be easy to overlook everything else when trying to adapt the book to a different medium.
That is not to say that the show is not dark. It is still a story full of deeply flawed beings. Being a vampire does not make a person perfect. They are still themselves. All triggers, flaws and loveable parts on display forever. Relationships are difficult. Relationships between immortal beings are no exception.
I think that is something that has always drawn me to Anne Rice’s world. Her vampires are so very human.
Would I recommend Interview With The Vampire? Yes. I most assuredly would. I know some book fans are on the fence about the changes made. I also know there some people are just sick of remakes. I would encourage all of them to give the show a real chance though.
I would say this show is one of the best examples I have seen of taking source material and updating it for a modern audience. It is so full of feeling and sincerity. It is clear that there was a lot of love for the original book and the world that it created.
Now there are some trigger warnings that I am going to put below the cut. If you want to stop here then don’t go past the sign off.
ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!!!
Trigger warnings: Domestic abuse, racism, homophobia, discussions of sexual assault and violence.