It happened, it finally happened! A good queer vampire show came out this year. I actually manifested it! Complaining works!! Now as we all know no vampires are cishet, but it’s still rare that we get queer vampire media. It is worth noting: we often don’t get vampire media not centered around teens. Focusing on adults in a different time period with different obstacles is just one thing that makes Interview with the Vampire so goddamn good.
Interview with the Vampire follows vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac from the early 20th century recounting his life story in 2022 to Daniel Molloy. Though it’s Louis’s story, we see a lot of Lestat du Lioncourt who is Louis’s murder, maker, and his beau, all wrapped up in one. Louis tells his and Lestat’s twisted love story, which eventually involves teenage vampire Claudia, their daughter. Together, the three of them live in New Orleans as a family and make the viewer question both immortality and morality.
Interview with the Vampire is the vampire show that shows that we haven’t run vampire stories into the ground just yet. It’s a reboot of a movie based off of a book, but somehow still feels brand new. The time period, racial realities, and the question of Lestat’s humanity bring us into the next evolution of vampires in media.
Vampires were monsters in Dracula, humanized in Twilight, and now in Interview with the Vampire, we remember that they are not human, but unsure if they are monsters either. We have gone from rooting against vampires, to rooting for them, to now not being sure who to root for. Interview with the Vampire shows the world, human and vampire, in more shades of grey than we knew existed. It’s not the fault of vampires that humans are their prey, but it does not change the fact that they kill humans in order to feed. Even if they are the worse of the worst, who are vampires to be the judge, jury, and executioner?
But that does not make humans inherently good either. Because of their race, gender, and sexuality, the vampires of this story are often at the mercy of the bigoted humans around them. And when a racist is drained of all their blood… I pretend I do not see it. Louis and Claudia especially endure so much because of their race and gender. They are gods living amongst humans, and yet racism and sexism are still just as strong.
Lestat fairs a little better because of his race, class, and status. Homophobia, though, specifically 20th century legally backed homophobia, makes life very difficult for him and Louis. Humans, just like their vampire counterparts, are flawed. And when those humans become vampires, that leaves their prey, humans, at the mercy of whatever their moral beliefs are. Many would not consider being off key a killable offense, but Lestat does. His questionable morals lead him to commit many questionable kills.
They also make him a bad partner and a poor father figure. Lestat is not just awful to humans; he is awful to Louis and Claudia as well. This makes the viewer think he might just be awful outside of his vampirism. The vampires in this story also have real limits to their vampirism. There’s no spelled sunproof jewelry, no drinking vervain, and above all, loneliness plagues these vampires. The curse of immortality is more evident than ever in this show. Louis even says “all vampires are born out of trauma,” showing us that vampirism is not the strength we’ve been taught it is. If vampires are born out of trauma, this show is an exploration of that trauma.
Interview with the Vampire rips the cute rom com veil we so often see vampires through from our eyes. This show is like all the other vampire shows we have seen but grown up. The vampire who loves you, who is here to “save” you, is actually your murderer and your manipulator.
Claudia thinks that she finally finds a like-minded vampire boy she could feel less lonely around only to find out he’s been stalking her and then he sexually assaults her. Louis is in love with Lestat, but that love is so tainted and twisted that he can no longer tell, nor care, that he’s being abused. They take away the fantasy of teenage vampires and all they leave us with are the problems of being forever young. Forever with your one true love becomes imprisonment in a loveless, abusive relationship. Even the blood drunk high has a very real hangover.
Interview with the Vampire is… dark, real, honest, and shows vampirism in its most raw state. In the same way other shows ask us if technology is inherently bad or are humans just using it unfavorably, we are asked if vampirism is the problem or if it just shows us who people really are underneath all their lies. It also asks if people are their worst moments/traits, and even if they are not, that those moments and traits have very real consequences. It does this so eloquently, without trauma porn and without being tacky. The show also delivers excellent twists that leave the audience on the edge of their seats. I am truly excited to see what happens next in season 2.
Want more reviews from Sydney? Check out her latest review of Wendell & Wild!