Queen of the Damned is 2oo2 horror film directed by Micheal Rymer. Which is loosely based on the second and third books of the Vampire Chronicle series by Anne Rice. Rice has expressed her dislike for the film in the subsequent years since its release at first approving of it but in time coming to dislike it. Queen of the Damned carries with it a sad distinction in that it’s Aaliyahs final film and wasn’t released at the time of her death. The film is dedicated to her memory.
The film opens with Lestat (Stuart Townsend) awakening after a long slumber to the sound of metal music. He proceeds to take over the band and become its lead singer. After receiving commercial success and revealing vampire secrets with his music in the process. Lestat then plans his first and only concert in Death Valley. Jesse Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) a member of Talamasca a watcher type organization, learns of Lestats music and becomes obsessed with him. She is pulled aside by a colleague and told that they know of Lestat and that he has Lestats journal. The journal recalls Lestats creation at the hands of Marius (Vincent Perez) and a time he awoke the vampire Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) with his music. Spurned by the this information Jesse seeks out the vampire bar where she encounters Lestat and returning his journal in a secondary encounter later. Lestat is approached by Marius and is warned of the vampires mounting an attack against him and told that Akasha has arisen. Akasha now again awoken by Lestats music and seeks him out to aid her in reclaiming the world and ruling humans like the days of old. At the concert Lestat is attacked by a group of vampires and is saved by Akasha. At her home later they feed on one another while engaging in sex. Lestat and Akasha then attack a The Ancient Vampires who are planning on killing Akasha to save the human world with whom Jesse is now aligned, leading to the film’s conclusion.
The first thing the comes to mind for me whenever I talk about it, is the amazing soundtrack. Being a fan of Jonathan Davis of Korn helps a lot too, as he provides the vocals during the singing for vampire Lestat. The movie has a memorable rock soundtrack. The music is catchy, fits the mood of the film and is surprisingly one of the things that hasn’t aged poorly, in fact I’d go as far as to venture that its gotten better.
Another aspect of this film that I really do enjoy is Aaliyahs performance as Akasha. Which I find thoroughly entertaining. In fact the principle cast as a whole is rather stellar. But Aaliyah is by far the star of this show.
One gripe I do have though is that the special effects and sets didn’t stand the test of time as well as another aspect of the film. With sets the look fake and CGI vampire effects it gets a tad noticeable at times. This is mostly with the silly quick movement effect and when Akasha makes other vampires burst into flames.
But what’s my final thoughts? Well the story line is a bit of a train wreck, but conversely the soundtrack and the acting as a whole isn’t shabby. Jonathan Davis’s singing helps out the films strange tone and helps create a strong sense of atmosphere that I feel would of been lacking had he not been involved in the project. Had I been asked what I would rate this movie when it first came out I would of given a high rating. But alas, time has not been kind and the movie hasn’t aged as well as it could have. So Queen of the Damned while entertaining, feels slightly dated, along with the weak story and underdeveloped characters brings it down. So end of the day I give Queen of the Damned a 6.5/10 its good enough film but if you wanna watch an Anne Rice adaptation go with Interview with a Vampire.