I’ll say one factor about AMC’s new tackle Interview With the Vampire: It’s not delicate. However then once more, nobody is on the lookout for a timid Anne Rice adaptation, are they? Rice’s bestselling Gothic vampire novels unabashedly experience intercourse, blood and fervour, and this Vampire sequence — premiering Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10/9c; I’ve seen the primary three episodes — definitely delivers these issues in spades. It’s grandly melodramatic and genuinely unsettling with a luxurious visible model, however the melodrama does tip over into the absurd at instances. Some will fall in love with this adaptation, I believe… and a few will simply like to hate-watch it.
Fifty years after their first encounter, ageless vampire Louis, performed by Sport of Thrones‘ Jacob Anderson, tracks down jaded journalist Daniel Molloy to assist him inform his life story. (That is the uncommon TV present the place the framing gadget is almost as attention-grabbing as the principle story, because of pointed references to present occasions and Eric Bogosian’s crabby, cerebral flip as Molloy.) Louis’ story, steeped in intercourse and violence, takes us again to the brothels and unlawful playing halls of 1910 New Orleans — and his standing as a Black man within the South is completely an element right here, too. He meets Lestat (Sam Reid), a honey-voiced French charmer who takes Louis underneath his wing and guides him by means of the methods of being a bloodsucker, from correct feeding and sleeping rituals to the magical artwork of studying minds.
Vampire‘s premiere weaves a seductive spell, going excessive in all one of the best methods with stunning interval costumes and manufacturing design that recall Boardwalk Empire and The Knick with a supernatural twist. The visible results are top-notch, too, with cool touches like a vampire’s pores and skin dissolving little by little within the solar and Lestat freezing time to talk telepathically with Louis. Author Rolin Jones (Perry Mason, Friday Evening Lights) and Emmy-winning director Alan Taylor (Sport of Thrones, The Sopranos) carry severe status TV cred, they usually make some daring storytelling selections. The novel’s homoerotic subtext turns into express textual content right here, with Louis and Lestat locked in an intense infatuation. As they share a sensual three-way tryst with a prostitute, Lestat sinks his enamel into Louis’ neck — and the primal energy of his chunk sends them each floating into the air.
The preliminary thrill of being a vampire finally wears off, although, giving method to extra mundane issues, and so too does this Interview With the Vampire. After that dazzling premiere, Louis’ story will get much less attention-grabbing because it settles in, dragged down by his tedious household points. Anderson does have severe hearth and gravitas as Louis, making him a strong, sympathetic lead. However I’m a bit torn on Reid as Lestat: He has a hypnotic, otherworldly high quality that’s typically mesmerizing… and different instances ridiculous. (Word: The kid vampire Claudia, performed by Kirsten Dunst within the 1994 film, doesn’t seem within the first three episodes, however casting an older teen within the position — Bailey Bass performs her right here — does inevitably blunt among the shock issue.)
As enjoyable as it’s to see Vampire go careening off the rails, it does get misplaced in its personal indulgences at instances, with overwrought screaming matches set to a blaring rating that verge on camp. (This can be a present the place the query “Did you eat the newborn?” is requested in earnest. And never simply as soon as!) It has a touch of Hannibal‘s wild bloodlust, but it surely’s not practically as refined as that gory masterpiece was. Nonetheless, this Vampire manages to seek out moments of lyrical magnificence amid all the surplus. Louis advises Molloy at one level to “let the story seduce you,” and for some time, this story did certainly seduce me… however some spells can solely maintain us in a trance for thus lengthy.
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: AMC’s stunning new tackle Interview With the Vampire is definitely daring and seductive, but it surely too usually suggestions over into camp.