'Interview With the Vampire' injects fresh blood into Anne Rice's story on AMC |  CNN

‘Interview With the Vampire’ injects fresh blood into Anne Rice’s story on AMC | CNN


Significantly improving on the 1994 film, “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire” does more than just add the late author’s name to the title, ambitiously updating the story, introducing a racial component, and serving up plenty of sex and of gore. Desperate to replace “The Walking Dead,” AMC might have pulled off an unlikely takeover from zombies to another kind of undead.

Although the outlines reflect Rice’s gothic novel, the series manages to simultaneously develop them as if it were a kind of sequel and reinvent certain aspects, while increasing the quota of sexuality and violence in the levels. occupied by the sharpest premium TV tariffs. In that sense, it seems to have been produced at least as much with AMC+ in mind as the AMC linear array.

Jacob Anderson (saying a lot more than he did as Gray Worm in ‘Game of Thrones’ and making the most of it) stars as Louis de Pointe du Lac, telling his story to a now reporter older (Eric Bogosian) whose dismissive and sarcastic attitude seems to flirt with fangs for memories.

Meeting in a pandemic-ravaged future that lends added resonance to the story, Red Meat still exists in flashbacks to Louis’ past with Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid), the suave vampire who created him; and later Claudia (Bailey Bass), a slightly (still) older version of the vampire child whose perpetual state of adolescence captures the tragedy of her arc in a slightly different way.

Louis and Lestat meet in New Orleans in the early 1900s, a time and place where such interactions are possible but where the racism of the time is openly expressed and a constant component of the narrative.

Sam Reid as Lestat Du Lioncourt and Jacob Anderson as Louis De Pointe Du Lac in

Adapted by Rolin Jones (HBO reimagined “Perry Mason”) with early episodes directed by Alan Taylor (“The Sopranos”), there’s a palpable tension in Anderson and Reid’s performances, with the former managing to be wistful and creepy in the future and confused, melancholy and sometimes exultant in the past. As constructed, there’s also the intriguing question of what would drive him out of the shadows to share his story.

The action, when it does happen, is fast, bloody and brutal. Still, the series’ format affords this incarnation significant leeway as a character study, including the immortal loneliness that would inspire Lestat to create a companion for himself, and Louis’ subsequent commitment to Claudia, with all the pain associated growth that go with it. The same goes for fleshing out supporting players, such as Louis’ mother (Rae Dawn Chong) and sister (Kalyne Coleman), instead of just playing smaller roles for the slaughter.

‘Interview With the Vampire’ will debut after the final season of ‘The Walking Dead’ kicks off – in TV terms, an old-school baton pass meant to guarantee additional sampling as this opening arc kicks off of seven episodes.

Unlike its ageless personas, “Vampire” might not be suited for a particularly long run, though AMC has already announced a second season, a well-deserved vote of confidence based on its hugely promising start. This is good news for both viewers and the channel, for whom, about to say goodbye to its biggest hit, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” airs October 2 at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+.

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