A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Interview with the Vampire is a 1994 horror drama based on the Anne Rice novel. Make no mistake: This is a violent, bloody movie about vampires. Death and murder are main themes and are depicted with a great deal of graphic violence and gore in nearly every scene. In addition to the human killing and attempted vampire killing via such manners as throat-slitting, decapitation, and sunshine, a vampire desperate for blood who doesn't want to kill humans turns to poodles and rats instead at first. Full-frontal female nudity. Strong sexual undertones and insinuations throughout. Lestat seems to be on the verge of a menage a trois with prostitutes before he kills them; in another, he seduces a younger man as Louis seduces an older woman. Louis consorts with prostitutes before and after becoming a vampire. Some drinking, cigarette smoking, two victims drugged with laudanum.
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What's the story?
Famously based on Anne Rice's vampire novels, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE features a scenery-chewing Tom Cruise as gleeful, blood-thirsty villain Lestat. This vampire doesn't just kill humans, but also tortures other vampires via betrayal and mockery. Brad Pitt, as the more conflicted vampire Louis, is a quieter presence on screen. The pair has a vampire daughter, the perennial 11-year-old Claudia, played by actress Kirsten Dunst. Parents should know that Claudia kills humans with the ferocity and glee of Lestat.
Is it any good?
Action-packed and frequently engaging, Interview with the Vampire is, at times, a thoughtful examination of the vampire myth so commonly portrayed in horror films. It examines the emotional and moral consequences of the notorious go-to villain, attempting to explain why living forever might be a bad thing while illustrating how killing isn't always a joy for the fictional character. However, at other times, the film uses the vampire myth only to feature horrific acts of bloody violence that aren't thought-provoking in the least. Parents should know that there is a violent murder every few minutes and that blood and gore appear on screen as often as the main characters do.
Interview with the Vampire is a smart, thoughtful film in many ways. Parents will be interested to know that it delves deeply into the consequences of characters' actions and the way they feel about harming others. Still, this interrogation of a common myth in horror cinema is accompanied by a whole lot of guts and grizzle. Viewer beware.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the various vampires react to killing others. Why does Louis feel guilty while Lestat does not? Which character do you most identify with?
Did the movie need to be as graphically violent as it was? Could it have been just as scary and suspenseful without all the blood, the bites, the bodies?
What would be the challenges in adapting a best-selling novel into a movie? If you've read the book, how was the movie different from the book?
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