Neil Jordan’s film, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles based on the immensely popular novel by Anne Rice, controversial when it first opened in 1994, looking at it really wasn’t scary and in some manners doesn’t match well with the novel, but that’s common with many Hollywood productions involving novel adaptions. It featured performances by Tom Cruise (Lestat) and Brad Pitt (Louis) while Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea and a then 12-year old Kirsten Dunst filled out the film. Director Neil Jordon brought in Elliot Goldenthal to take over and write an entirely new score, in three weeks who relied on his mind, heart, and gut all in an effort to prove himself. He created a swooping design of music mixing variations musical styles and tastes, it doesn’t always fit the norm, rather taking risks which, all do work, and makes one recall the movie from the wonderful tracks. The movie’s soundtrack nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Scores but sadly lost both to The Lion King.

The soundtrack starts with a haunting chorus of “Libera Me” complete with piercing strings, by the second track “Born To Darkness Part I” a warmer romantic theme this trend continues though the main 18-tracks. However, a few action sequences appear in the form of “Louis’ Revenge” all fit into this wild moving score. A playful track entitled “Lestat’s Tarantella” present as a dance and gives dazzling moment that returns briefly in other entries. “Théâtre des Vampires” is a wonderful piece, which a group of vampires (headed by Armand, portrayed by Antonio Bandera) pretending humans murder terrified civilians in front of an audience, all looking at performance art makes one think of a great scene in the film. The only downside is the audience never gets to hear, Antonio’s singing voice, such as when he did a piece from Phantom of the Opera. One of the more miss placed tracks for many listeners comes from Guns N’ Roses “Sympathy for the Devil” the classic Rolling Stones song, but understand the label for the soundtrack Geffen Records, of which GNR was on hence the connection. Although one can listen to this last track without knowing anything about the film, and at one time was available as a CD-Single (prior to the time to buying single MP3s) and later on a Greatest Hits album in 2004.

Track Listing:

  • Libera Me (2:47) – (Vocals: The American Boychoir)
  • Born to Darkness Part I (3:04)
  • Lestat’s Tarantella (0:46)
  • Madeleine’s Lament (3:06)
  • Claudia’s Allegro Agitato (4:46)
  • Escape to Paris (3:09)
  • Marche Funèbre (1:50)
  • Lestat’s Recitative (3:39)
  • Santiago’s Waltz (0:37)
  • Théâtre des Vampires (1:18)
  • Armand’s Seduction (1:51)
  • Plantation Pyre (1:59)
  • Forgotten Lore (0:31)
  • Scent of Death (1:40)
  • Abduction and Absolution (4:42) – (Vocals: The American Boychoir)
  • Armand Rescues Louis (2:07)
  • Louis’ Revenge (2:36)
  • Born to Darkness Part II (1:11)
  • Sympathy for the Devil (written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, performed by Guns ‘N Roses) (7:35)

Running Time: 49 minutes 04 seconds

It’s interesting, how one’s musical tastes change over decades, for examples I never had a deep understanding of music with regard to horror films, however that changed with watching Psycho (1960). Hence returning to these film scores and knowing the film I have a clearer sight of how the music moves the scene and the viewer’s interest and emotional state, with each passing note. As with Goldenthal’s score created in 1994 and now to return 24-years later, with romantic themes (which I discounted long ago, out of ignorance) now realizing the sweeping in progressive style throughout the soundtrack. The dramatic tones, hint to gothic elements on the screen, and old-world themes.

Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5