A comparison between the original DRACULA movie (1931) and the (1994) movie INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. Although the two films may be similar from being of the horror genre and vampirical sub-genre there are evidently several differences between the two. Our original (1931) was adapted from the novel written by Bram Stoker, Stoker’s story is closely followed, using signifiers to link book and film. Interview With A Vampire was adapted from Anne Rices best selling book The Vampire Chronicles.
The most obvious difference is date and location; both films use these elements to their advantage. Dracula is set in the 1930’s using the two locations of the Transylvanian castle and the English manor house. The film uses opposites frequently to exxagerate the antithesis of good and evil, in having just these two converse locations the audience gains a devide, a barrier between the villains and victims own territories. In IWAV we we are not limited to two locations or indeed a specific time priod, infact the plot has intermittent shots of action from the modern day right back until Luis ‘birth’ in the eighteenth century. As Luis (Brad Pitt) is telling his life story we follow him on a quest through cities, countries continents.
When reviewing the differences between the films it is very important to recognise that the films are over sixty years apart, not only has cinema been revolutionised and people changed the genre has been over exposed and explored with over 240 vampire films made. In the 1930s the only cinema audience who could afford such a pastime were upper middle classes, and films, as we can see in Dracula, must appeal to their mass audience this is why we can note that the film is very theatrical with huge walls and over emphasised acting, costume and set. Now in the modern day audiences have broadened and it is possible for most people to watch a video or visit the cinema and the audience requires and expects as much realism as possible, the increasing quality of special effects helps this.
Special effects are frequent in both films and the modern day effects of IWAV are fantastic and plentiful, for example the ascension of the vampires in particular when Lestat (Tom Cruise) makes Luis at the beginning of the picture and later on the amazing fire at THEATRES DES VAMPYRES when Luis seeks his revenge on the murderers of Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) . We realised that money is thrown into Hollywood today and that IWAV’s budget is probably one hundred times Dracula’s. This is mirrored in Dracula’s special effects, which are inconsistent, and poor, I find it laughable when the characters begin to dart in fear when a rubber bat, complete with a yard of thick black wiring is ‘flying’ towards them.
There are some statements between moral and cultural issues, which dramatically oppose each other in the two films. For example over the sixty or so years the perception sexual orientation has been liberalised. Homoeroticism is clearly seen in IWAV especially when Lestat makes Luis and it is repeated when Luis leaves Armand to come home to New Orleans. This approach condemns the stereotypical courtship of upper-class couples seen in Dracula. There is also the fact that Dracula does not include the appearance of any ethnicity bar Caucasian.
We are shown opposing narratives in both cases we side with the victims the only difference being that in IWAV the victim is a vampire a taker of lives. We are confronted with Dracula’s overwhelming control over mortals and Luis’ good hearted nature- a kind vampire? IWAV breaks all codes and conventions with Luis’ reign of misery sorrow and compassion. In fact he would rather dine off the blood of bats and chickens than a tender slave- can you believe it!? The two films mirror and outshine each other up until the conclusion as we can see how the history of the fictional creatures has evolved.