Matinee idols Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt indulge their dark sides in this adaptation of the Anne Rice novel, and both surprisingly manage to save face. Pitt provides the emotional anchor as an 18th-century plantation owner whose wife dies in childbirth. He seeks relief by accepting the “black gift” from the vampire Lestat (Cruise), a decision he lives – forever – to regret. Cruise brings a nice comic flair to his performance, while director Neil Jordan provides plenty of dripping imagery – right down to the trickling, translucent blue veins that shine through the vampires’ skin. With Christian Slater as the interviewer and Kirsten Dunst, in her first major role, as a haunting child victim.