Blogtober Day 31: ๐Ÿงก Happy Halloween ๐Ÿงก

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Well, here we are – after a long day of helping people vote early, I plan to tear down my Halloween decor & maybe throw up a wreath or two. Or perhaps wait since all of the lovely snow that fell is now melted & we are going to see highs in the 60’s this coming week! Minnesota is a fickle climate, I already put all of my summer clothing away so I guess I’m just sweating it out until the temperatures drop again. Minnesotans are rather fickle creatures too, only last week I was fielding calls about when the ice rinks would open & this week complaints that the bathrooms were already closed up for the season – cannot please anyone ๐Ÿ˜€ I did not wear all black to work today, I decided to wear my Dracula leggings since it is Halloween after all. I was primarily doing back end work so it’s not like I was interacting with the public too terribly much. On my drive home I did see a few groups of trick or treaters & houses decorated which made me smile ๐Ÿ‘ป

I don’t have much to talk about, it’s a bit of a melancholy day for a holiday that is traditionally packed with so much mayhem. I’m also particularly annoyed that It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will not be on television this evening because Apple sucks. I owned a digital copy on Prime Video that is also now unavailable…even though I paid for it years ago? Please, just keep ruining my childhood. If you are looking for a throwback to when Halloween ruled, check out this collection of old commercials. I’m too young to remember some of them but they are still fun to watch! Companies used to really go all out for the holiday, I love to see it. Also, if you want some other spooky content, the Top 5s Youtube channel has been uploading almost every day this month & they have tons of good stuff!

Other than listening to some Halloween jams (check out my spooky playlist here) & watching Halloween on repeat, I don’t have anything exciting planned Oh! Actually. I have downloaded the new adaptation of The Witches movie & plan to check that out this evening. It looks like it is going to be really good! With Blogtober coming to an end, I think I’m shooting for a Monday/Wednesday/Friday blogging schedule until Blogmas. I hope you enjoyed all of the spooky content ๐Ÿ–ค

Whatever you’re doing, stay safe & healthy ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ๐Ÿ’€

Blogtober Day 29: Fall Tea Haul

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Up until about a year ago I was never a tea person, I only had it when I was sick or wanted something hot at night that didn’t have caffeine. That was until I visited the magical world of David’s Tea at Mall of America which is now sadly closed. David’s Tea offers a variety of unique tea blends & teaware to suit just about anyone’s taste, even a non-tea drinker like yours truly. You can still purchase from their online store & it’s definitely worth it for 3-4 days of delayed gratification to get your hands on these tasty teas. I first got hooked on their Christmas teas with everything from peppermint to chocolate chai, their fall flavors were just as delicious.

To start, I picked up another sachet of their Pumpkin Chai which I’ve been hooked on for the last month. It’s a black tea with pumpkin candy bits, caramel & lemon peel to name some of the top notes. It’s a creamy, dreamy chai with just a touch of sweetness.

The next one which I was skeptical about but it’s delicious is the Sweet Potato Pie, also a black tea with rock sugar, pecans, sweet potato & bits of marshmallow. All of the different add ins melted and melded together beautifully, it’s a bit on the nuttier side & a delightful treat.

I haven’t tried this one yet, I was going to try them all before I posted but then figured that I should not drink 6 cups of black tea in one day ๐Ÿ˜› Also, since these teas do have a variety of decadent add ins, I treat them more like a sweet treat than a regular beverage. That being said, I am definitely taking a little sachet of Raspberry Cream Pie with me to work tomorrow! This is a green rooibos with white chocolate chips, beet juice & hibiscus.

Then we have a lovely Vanilla Chai that I had tried & love, this one is more akin to your traditional chai blends with its spicy ginger, licorice & cinnamon blend.

And finally, since I am a big chai fan, I chose the S’mores Chai which is packed with chocolate, marshmallows & traditional chai blend.

Obviously, I’m a chai fan but they have loads of other teas too. I love the unexpected add ins like gingerbread men sprinkles or bits of popcorn like one of my favorite holiday blends has. They have prepackaged teas also, I just like the loose teas because I can control the strength of the brew. Have you tried David’s Tea? Let me know what your go to hot beverage is ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 27: Dressed to Kill (1980)

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De Palma does Hitchcock in this thriller from 1980 starring a very foxy Michael Caine, stunning Angie Dickinson and a fresh-faced Nancy Allen. A housewife’s (Dickinson) lunch time tryst turns deadly when she is slashed to death leaving her mysterious lover’s apartment. Liz Blake (Allen) witnesses the aftermath of the gory murder and catches a glimpse of the statuesque, blonde murderess fleeing the scene with a straight razor. Michael Caine plays Dr. Robert Elliott, who was Dickinson’s therapist whom she tried to seduce prior to her untimely death and who has a former patient named Bobbi who becomes the main suspect for the murder. Peter, son of the victim, teams up with Liz who is apparently a sex-worker (I didn’t realize this until the 20th or so time that I had watched this film) team up to track down Bobbi and solve the murder. We find out that Bobbi is angry with Dr. Elliott for not approving her gender reassignment surgery and could be using this as a reason to kill off his patients. Liz and Peter concoct a plan where Liz tries to seduce the good doctor but this man is not easily seduced. While Liz is stripped down to her lingerie and digging through his Rolodex trying to get information on Bobbi, Dr. Elliott is in the back throwing on a wig and sharpening his straight razor. Yup, he turns out to be Bobbi, another shocking reveal! He attempts to murder Liz but is thwarted by Peter who bursts in and maces him.

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This film is visually stunning, from the atmosphere to the costumes – it is a delight for the eyes. The cast is brilliant and the plot, while it doesn’t totally make sense, keeps you guessing until the end ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 26: Best of October Lifestyle

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I can’t lie, as soon as my plastic storage bins arrive in the mail – the Halloween decor is coming down. We had a good run but I’m over it. Watch, all of this snow will melt & then I will be back in a fall mood – I’m just flaky like that ๐Ÿ˜› I anticipate spending a lot of time at home this winter, I am guessing that most everyone is. Actually, I was watching the news & apparently instead of food shortages – home goods are the next target of American panic shopping. Specifically luxury sheets, sounds pretty American. Not the luxury sheets. Anyway, I only have a few favorite things this month, enjoy!

Remember that Casaluna Comforter Set that I was all, will I, won’t I about? Well, I did & love it. One of the main reasons that I was waffling on it was because I don’t like a lot of weight on me when I’m sleeping & generally just use a knitted blanket. This comforter was described as heavyweight & I have no idea why I was drawn to it aside from it being beautiful ๐Ÿ˜› It is heavy but also very comfortable, the underneath is a soft polyester blend & the top side is a coarser linen – it’s a unique sensory experience. It’s so cozy, I don’t know how it will wash but so far so good.

I may have already talked about the cauldron mugs that Target recently had, I purchased a second one to contain my newest obsession – incense! I threw out all of the boxes so unsure of what the different flavors are but I know there is a jasmine, sandalwood & something to do with patchouli. Incense reminds me of Christmas morning, it always puts me in a good mood! I’ve never burned it since I’ve lived on my own, my mother always had something burning though & it’s such a nostalgic scent. I don’t know if all of the sticks touching will make them smell the same…?

I have a very celestial theme going on in my bedroom, it makes sense to me considering I do all of my sleeping in here. Urban Outfitters is good for some new age, moon decor for not terrible prices. This moon shelf is my newest addition, it’s really beautiful & well-made. I did not do a fantastic job of hanging it & need a brace or something at the top to keep it flush with the wall – it could have used a couple more brackets. My only complaint is that this is the second shelf I’ve purchased from them & there aren’t any screws! Drive me nuts.

I’ve been looking for a pair of black, casual boots that I can wear inside & outside. Doc Martens are my usual go to but the salt really tears up the stitching around the soles & I think I might be getting too old to be wearing Docs all of the time anyway. I dunno, is there an age limit? Anyway, I found these Keds that are super cute & very comfortable. They don’t look too snow boot-like & can be worn with most anything. I’ve so far worn them with skirts & leggings, they hit at about the same height as my Docs & have the same ankle cinching appearance. Definitely not as stiff & don’t require a break in period.

That’s it! I’m out of my favorite tea at the moment but when my order gets here, might post about it then. David’s Tea released a pumpkin chai, it’s delicious but really requires a picture to convey its full beauty. Let me know what you’ve been loving this month. Are you ready for winter or still in a fall mood ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 25: Best of Treehouse of Horror

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I saw this Britney Broski meme & it was choosing between a new television show or rewatching a comfort show. I’m a comfort show person all the way & The Simpsons are my ultimate pick. The Simpsons have been on television a loooooooong time, too long in my opinion. I stopped watching them probably 10 or so seasons ago, aside from their annual Halloween Treehouse of Horror specials. I remember waiting patiently each year to watch these as a kid and getting screwed a few times because of that pesky mountain time. Those were the days when you actually had to be physically home at the time  your favorite show aired to watch it. If you aren’t familiar with these episodes please leave there are three horror stories, that sometimes parody well-known horror films or are otherwise just creepy stories. These are the episodes that I appreciate the most. I am doing these by air date since I own the actual seasons of only Treehouse of Horror episodes so I’m unsure of where they fall in the regular seasons and I’m lazy.

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Hands down my favorite episode – it has everything from Satan to der vampyr. In the first story, Homer sells his soul to Satan (played by Ned Flanders) for a donut. Bart is terrorized by a gremlin trying to wreck the school bus in the second story and Mr. Burns plays Dracula with wig a la Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the conclusion. There isn’t a bad story in this episode which isn’t always the case.

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This one parodies I Know What You Did Last Summer with a twist that was just as ridiculous as the original movie ending. It has a weak filler story about Bart and Lisa acquiring superhuman powers but ends on a strong note with Homer failing to prepare the plant’s computers for Y2K and causing the crash of the technological world. Remember when we all thought that the world was going to end because computers couldn’t compute zeroes? Good times.

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Homer goes insane in The Shinning, then travels back in time in an attempt to fix a toaster and Springfield Elementary cafeteria starts eating misbehaving children. I think  this episode has the most comical Marge line of any episode, when Bart and Lisa try convincing her that they are going to be eaten she responds with; Kids, you’re 8 & 10 years old, I can’t keep fighting all of your battles for you. Classic parent response.

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Homer is attacked by an evil Krusty the Clown Doll, the middle episode story is a lame King Kong parody and ends with Lisa turning the residents of Springfield into zombies while trying to bring her cat back to life. I also love that this episode takes place during a Halloween party at the Simpson’s’ house and Bart is rocking the classic A Clockwork Orange costume.

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This one starts out strong with the Simpsons moving into a haunted house that just so happens to be on the site of an ancient burial ground. The second story is lame, something to do with aliens overfeeding them but not wanting to eat them…? And finishes with a parody of Poe’s The Raven narrated by James Earl Jones.

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There are so many good ones but these are classic introductions to these specials. I think the only reason I will be sad to see The Simpsons retire from television is that there won’t be anymore Treehouse of Horror episodes. Did you watch these as a kid? Let me know what your favorite episodes are ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 24: Saturday, Saturday

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Kim Kardashian just celebrated her 40th birthday, richer than ever & I just had a 4-hour nap. You could say we’re both thriving. I had to work very early this morning so this is just a random chit chat post.

Does anyone else feel like Halloween has come & gone? There’s already more Christmas stuff in stores & some of it’s already on sale! Meanwhile, the Halloween stuff is just sitting in a corner getting dusty. With all of the snow on the ground, I’m almost tempted to put up my Christmas stuff. Listen, it’s like I say, it’s only crazy if someone sees it. My neighbor on the other hand has already put out his outside decor – he’s clearly lost his mind ๐Ÿ˜› No, I think it’s really fun & we all deserve a two month holiday season.

I treated myself to that Casaluna linen bedding set I wanted. It was 19 degrees last night & my usual quilt was feeling a bit thin, I’ll post more about it when I have time to take daylight photos. So far, it’s a hit.

I’m taking Thanksgiving week off, I usually don’t take time off until New Years but I have time expiring & figure I’ll find something to do. I’m not going home but it will still be fun & relaxing. Having family out of state is tricky with all of the different rules & I don’t want to spread any germs unnecessarily.

I recently started a food delivery box! Hello Fresh, which I’ve tried before has a plant based option. Recently, I’ve found myself falling into old habits & meticulously calorie counting which is fine until it becomes obsessive. The thing with eating disorders is that you have to be constantly vigilant because it’s easy to slip up. Hello Fresh has helped me in the past, it’s easy to make excuses to not go grocery shopping which turns into just not eating. It makes cooking & food kind of fun for someone who isn’t fond of either of them ๐Ÿ˜Š

Don’t forget to vote – lots of states have early (absentee) voting options. You don’t have to wait until Election Day! In some countries, you can be arrested for not voting so let that sink in ๐Ÿ˜›

Stay happy & healthy ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 23: Mary Reilly

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This movie was bizarre, not just with a capital B – all caps, underlined, exclamation point. We are all familiar with the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story – I’ve been banging on about it for the last two days. I decided that I wanted to watch a couple of newer film adaptations & stumbled upon Mary Reilly (1996) starring Julia Roberts as Mary & John Malkovich as Jekyll & Hyde. This was a freak show from start to finish.

Mary is Jekyll’s maid who might be Welsh or possibly Irish… I’ll just say that Roberts’ talents don’t include accents. It’s obvious that she has experienced something particularly traumatic in her life & the doctor is curious about Mary. He presses her on how she received various bite marks on her arms & neck. Eventually, Mary tells the doctor that her father let a rat chew her up as punishment for breaking a tea cup. After that, her mother put her into service & she never saw her parents again. It’s close to this point that Jekyll informs his staff that he is taking an assistant who will have the run of the house. Mary has noticed odd things about the doctor’s coming & goings but nothing terribly alarming.

One evening though Jekyll sends Mary on an errand to see a Mrs. Farraday who obviously runs a brothel. He requests that Farraday accommodate Hyde in her boarding rooms which she agrees to. Shortly thereafter, Mary is awoken by the crying of a girl & when she sneaks into the doctor’s study sees a note for Blood Money. She starts to suspect something is wrong with the doctor but she has yet to encounter the elusive Hyde.

Jekyll dispatches Mary once again to Farraday’s with a note but this time she’s much less benevolent. It is clear that Hyde murdered one of the girls at the brothel & Farraday is asked to keep it hushed up. From here on, Mary encounters Hyde a number of times even accompanying him to a meat market for the doctor. Malkovich does a tremendous job of altering his mannerisms just enough to appear as two completely different personalities. Even so, the house staff start to suspect there’s something not quite right going on. He tends to go in & out of character around Mary in particular & she starts covering for his odd behavior at times.

Eventually, Farraday comes to collect more hush money from the good doctor & Hyde murders her. As if things weren’t weird enough, Mary’s mother dies & she encounters her father at her funeral. On her way home, Mary encounters Hyde running from the police after committing yet another murder. He kisses Mary & says she will never see him again.

Cue downward spiral, running out of the secret chemicals & death by poisoning. This time though, Jekyll manages to revert back to himself only to find that Hyde laced the antidote with poison thus killing them both. Mary witnesses the final transformation affirming what she had already mostly concluded.

This film was…off-putting. From the dank atmosphere to the the tragedy of Mary, it really was horrific. I didn’t enjoy the addition of a love story to the original plot. I think what made this so bizarre was that it was really a love triangle. Mary was infatuated with Jekyll & he obviously had some feelings for her but could only express this when he was Hyde who was abhorrent. Glenn Close as Farraday was brilliant even if her character had very little screen time. I just didn’t care for Roberts’ performance, she was overly snivelly & that accent…

Have you seen this one? It was certainly unique ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 18: Cold Weather Body Care

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The seasons have changed, fall might be over already. We had a very crisp high of 32 degrees today & are looking at 4-inches of snow this Tuesday. I know that Halloween is a toss up on whether or not we’re still having mild weather or a foot of snow on the ground but I’m not sure I’m ready! Good thing I work from home on Tuesdays because I cannot with these city slickers driving on bad roads. The air has been dry for awhile now which is torture for my already dry, eczema prone skin & I’ve already switched my body care routine. I’m trying some new things this year that are more luxurious than my usual Cerave & am really pleased with the results so far!

Shea Moisture is an awesome brand and has been for awhile. They were some of the first to offer products specifically for curly, coily, kinky natural hair. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced, fair trade & they are cruelty free. Over the years, they’ve expanded to body & skin care – I have been using their coconut oil line & am obsessed. Here’s my routine for soft, clear skin!

Cleanse & Exfoliate: to start, I’ve been using the Daily Hydration Body Wash that is absolutely delicious. It’s sudsy, smells amazing & cleans my skin without making it feel dry or tight. I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or skin flare ups since switching which is rare for my overly sensitive skin. It leaves my skin sweetly scented & nourished.

Next, as unpleasant as exfoliating dry skin sounds, I find that regularly sloughing off the dead skin really improves the overall appearance of my skin. The Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub is just the right amount of grittiness & since it’s sugar, it just dissolves as you work it in. It’s a very hydrating body scrub, I use it all over & it makes my skin sparkle.

Moisturize: I have severely dry skin, I use an oil on particularly dry areas & then seal it in with an occlusive moisturizer. Shea Moisture offers a few lightweight, nourishing body oils but of course I went for the coconut. I have to mention that the coconut line smells like real coconut, very nutty & not that synthetic coconut that some might expect. Everything smells great but it might be a bit different than what some might be anticipating. Generally, a palm full is plenty for the areas I need extra moisture. I then work the Daily Hydration Body Lotion in all over my body. This stuff is thick, I don’t love the packaging & think it would work better in a tub. I put the bottle on my shower floor so the hot water can soften it up then it’s a bit easier to dispense. It doesn’t take terribly long to work in given the thick consistency & doesn’t feel greasy. This lotion keeps my skin comfortably hydrated all day & then some.

Shea Moisture can be purchased at ULTA, Target & on their website! They’re products are affordable & high quality. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re looking for something new.

Let me know what you’re go-to winter skin picks are. Have you tried anything from Shea Moisture? Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ–ค

Blogtober Day 17: Some New Halloween Leggings

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Listen, I told you it was going to happen. My goal is to own 31 pairs of Halloween leggings, one for each day of Halloween… October, I mean October ๐ŸŽƒ I’m slowly getting there & am so pleased with my new finds. These were all sourced from some local Lularoe reps – yes, I know there are a lot of strong feelings about that company but I don’t mind supporting sellers that I know. Neither one of them has ever mentioned owning thousands of pieces of inventory they can’t sell or anything crazy. They’ve also both said that it’s a side gig & they don’t get sucked into the over the top company culture. Believe me, I’ve seen the documentaries, we’ve talked about it. Anyway, here are the new additions:

These are my favorite, the skeletons glow in the dark. The black isn’t as matte as the other pairs, I’m guessing this has something to do with the glow feature. They’re by far the softest & stretchiest of the bunch.

Next we have some orange & white spiders, a classic print.

These neon Dracula lips remind me of Rocky Horror. They don’t glow but the neon is so fun.

Lastly, another neon print in repeating Boo motif. These are a little cliche Halloween-y for my taste but I don’t own any similar pairs & figure they’ll be a fun addition.

That’s it for this year, there is a neon green splatter print that I would like to own but they’re apparently a ‘rare’ print. That is one thing that I don’t appreciate about the brand, limiting the production of popular prints seems silly. Anyway, did you pick up any spooky duds this year? Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 12: Favorite (Spooky) Podcasts

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In 2020, just about anyone can have a podcast regardless of whether they have anything compelling to offer society (Trisha Paytas). In addition to this, just about everyone has some type of true crime podcast & they aren’t all winners. I think this is such a tough category because it’s equal parts doing the research & being a good storyteller. Anyone can regurgitate a bunch of facts but these podcasters have mastered the art of telling a heart stopping story.

Southern Fried True Crime: This podcast exclusively focuses on true crime tales from the deep south. It’s not for the faint of heart, many of the stories are incredibly gruesome even for true crime. Erica Kelly delivers the facts & human side of these tragedies in her charming southern drawl. The cases that are directly tied to the aftermath of Katrina fascinate me the most. When you are so far removed from an event like that it is easy to think that things just go back to normal after the clean up but that’s not the case for locals left rebuilding their lives. Brothels, corrupt police, crimes of passion – this one has everything.

Serial: I’m sure that everyone has listened to this one after their deep dive into the Adnan Syed trial in the first season, The second season was a bit different as the subject matter wasn’t necessarily traditional true crime but still very good. I like the format of this podcast, the research that is dedicated to each segment is incredible, I was hooked from the start. I have not yet listened to season three but will soon. I’m not interested in their new podcast Nice White Parents, as a teacher, I don’t want to hear about public education reform from someone who hasn’t been a teacher. And that’s on period ๐Ÿ˜›

Coast to Coast AM: Is this really a podcast, no but it’s a pretty fantastic radio call in show even though it is a bit hokey ๐Ÿ˜€ I love the host, the bizarre callers, the fact that it’s live at 1 AM pretty much everything about this one is right up my alley. If you aren’t up at 1 AM, you can catch the show recordings on their website & Spotify but there is something extra spooky about listening to the show live.

Death in the Afternoon: Brought to you by my favorite mortician, Caitlin Doughty (Ask a Mortician) this podcast touches on human mortality in a not sad way. They discuss a lot of topics around death & answer questions that one may not admit to having a morbid curiosity about. I’m not sure if the podcast is just on hiatus but I need some new episodes! Luckily, Doughty also has a YouTube channel where she talks about similar topics, historical tragedies & some current events.

Up & Vanished: Missing persons cases are some of the most compelling, it’s hard to imagine how someone can just go missing. Payne Lindsey does a fantastic job analyzing and discussing both famous & more obscure missing persons cases. It’s in a similar format to Serial, numerous episodes are related to one case which allows for detailed accounts from witnesses, family members & people who worked the cases. I’m not crazy about his voice at times, it’s very blockbuster narrator – THIS SUMMER, ONE MAN…he mellows as the seasons progress ๐Ÿ˜€ While Lindsey started as an amateur podcaster, he is a pro television personality & director, his ability to get insider info is crazy. It’s fascinating to hear details from the police & detectives who worked these cases, how they’ve never stopped working the cases & the passion they have for finding out what happened to these individuals. Lindsey has a new collaborative podcast coming out soon, Dead & Gone – it chronicles the deaths & disappearances of Dead Heads. I am a huge Grateful Dead fan & am looking forward to this new podcast.

Leave your podcast recommendations below, are you a true crime fan? Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿงก

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Louis, a wealthy plantation owner finds himself losing his will to live after the death of his wife & family when he is attacked by Lestat, a vampire. He offers Louis eternal life which he accepts but soon regrets. This movie has everything, costumes, sexy vampires, a beautifully gothic setting. Interview with the Vampire (1994) is a film adaptation of an Ann Rice novel that I have never read because it was boring but I would give it another try to see if it stacks up to the film.