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5 Moments of Gothic Splendor In Interview With a Vampire

Written By Vanessa Maki

Vanessa Maki is a queer Blerd and artist. She has written for a variety of publications including The Pink Advocate, The Gay Gaze, Dread Central, Horror Movie Blog and many more. She is weirder than you realize.

It’s June and that means it’s Pride Month. All year should be a celebration and a time for folks to learn whether they’re part of the community or not. There’s so much history to uncover and understand. And there is history within all media as far as queer depictions go. In regard to horror, I’ve said it many times, but it bears repeating that horror is inherently queer. There’s something thrilling about how angry that makes homophobic horror fans. Leading me to the topic at hand: Interview with the Vampire television adaption. Move over Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Chronicles series in general have always been queer as hell. Even if you’ve never read a single one of the books in Anne Rice’s infamous book series, you’ll have read an article or post about them by now. The AMC series adaptation of Interview with the Vampire in particular has garnered a lot of discussion. More importantly, in its unapologetic queerness. Unlike the ‘94 film adaptation, this gothic series leans all the way in. And I’m about to give you a few moments of gothic splendor.

Note: These aren’t all the moments because the series is gothic horror as a whole. And season 2 is still airing.

Lestat Murdering the Priests (1×01)

“In Throes of Increasing Wonder…” (season 1, episode 1) is a wonderful premiere, and it makes no apologies for Louis (Jacob Anderson) being a Black man in this adaptation or showing us queer sex that results in literal levitation. But it also gives us a scene in which Lestat (Sam Reid) finds Louis at church, feeling absolute despair and confessing to a priest (showing how he’s still struggling with internalized homophobia), and murders the priests in the most violent of ways. It’s a rejection of religion and conformity and a bold moment of no fucks given.

Lestat Turning Louis (1×01)

The twisted romance of it all, right? Lestat’s beautiful speech to Louis before he turns him, the declaration of love, and the moment after Louis is turned serve as tremendous gothic imagery. And the fact that it all happens in a church is even better. There’s something to be said about unabashed queerness occurring in a church or a churchlike atmosphere. Everything gothic has always been revered by judgmental religious people. So the irony is fantastic. After all, in that church, the death and the undeath of a Black gay man in the 1900s occurred.

The Party Massacre (1×08)

A dysfunctional vampire family throwing an after party and choosing a specific amount of guests just to slaughter them incites bonkers imagery. And the scene itself is brilliantly violent. A room full of horrible rich white people thinking they’re going to get the gift of eternal life. Only to be killed? It’s ironic. Of course Lestat’s “death” at the hands of Louis (only for it to be revealed that Louis spared him) is gothic tragedy at its finest. Vampire romances don’t always end well and while it’s not permanently over between them, it’s still tragic.

Louis’ Conversation with Imaginary Lestat in the Cemetery (2×01)

Being tormented by the hallucination (that’s the best way to describe it) of your former lover is something that Louis finds himself struggling with. The atmosphere with a bunch of corpses on the ground, Louis’ grim appearance, hallucination Lestat having a bat come out of his neck, and the bleak feeling of it all is perfection. Louis’ undying heartache and guilt over Lestat is the epitome of gothic. And the madness of it all is just the cherry on top.

The Murder on the Théâtre des Vampires Stage (2×02)

Exploring this point in the flashback is quite the journey because Paris obviously has a different feeling to it. The vibes during this current season of the show aren’t remotely the same as Louis and Claudia (Delainey Hayes)’s live in New Orleans. And part of that comes from the introduction of the Théâtre des Vampires. This coven of vampires isn’t like any other coven; they delight in theatrics and murder people on stage as part of the show. But naturally, the human audience doesn’t think it’s real.

During the first show we saw in the second episode of the show, there’s a memorable performance from one of the prominent members of the coven, Santiago (Ben Daniels). He draws in the audience, especially when he bites a captured woman named Annika (Sinead Phelps). And after that very intense moment, she is swarmed by some of the coven, drained and killed. Any aspiring vampire would be proud.