'Interview With the Vampire' pumps fresh blood into Anne Rice's story on AMC

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Sam Reid arsenic  Lestat Du Lioncourt and Jacob Anderson arsenic  Louis De Pointe Du Lac successful  AMC's "Interview with the Vampire."

Dramatically improving on the 1994 film, "Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire" doesn't just add the late author's name to the title, ambitiously updating the story, introducing a racial component and serving a lot of sex and blood. Desperate to replace "The Walking Dead," AMC may have made an unlikely transfer from a zombie to another type of undead. Although the outlines reflect Rice's gothic novel, the series manages to simultaneously expand them as if it were some kind of sequel and reinvent certain aspects, while increasing the share of sexuality and violence in the levels. Busy with more edgy premium TV fare. In that sense, it seems to have been produced at least as much as AMC+ in mind as the AMC Linear Network. Jacob Anderson being able to say much more than he did as Gray Worm in "Game of Thrones" and do the Louis of Pointe du Lac, telling his story to a now older journalist (Eric Bogosian) whose dismissive and sarcastic attitude seems to flirt with fangs for memories.

Encountering a pandemic-ravaged future that lends added resonance to the story, red meat still exists in flashbacks of Louis de Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid), the suave vampire who created it; and later Claudia (Bailey Bass), a slightly (still) older version of the vampire child whose perpetual state of adolescence captures the tragedy of her story 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 the racism of the time is openly expressed and a constant component of the narrative.

Sam Reid arsenic  Lestat Du Lioncourt and Jacob Anderson arsenic  Louis De Pointe Du Lac successful  "Interview with the Vampire."

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. Future and confused, melancholy and sometimes exalted in the past. As constructed, there's also the intriguing question of what would push him to come out of the shadows to share his story. The action, when it does happen, is fast, bloody and brutal.

Still, the format of the series gives this incarnation significant leeway as a character study, including the immortal loneliness that would have prompted Lestat to create a companion, and Louis' subsequent commitment to Claudia, with all the resulting pain of associated growth. The same goes for giving body to supporting actors, like Louis' mother (Rae Dawn Chong) and sister (Kalyne Coleman), instead of just looking for minor roles for the massacre. “Interview With the Vampire” will debut after the start of the final season of “The Walking Dead”: in television terms, an old witness pass intended to provide additional sampling when this seven-episode opening arc kicks off. . Unlike its ageless characters, "Vampire" may not be suited for a particularly long run, even though AMC has already announced a second season, a well-deserved vote of confidence based on its hugely promising debut. 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+.