Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Reeves
Directed by Michael Rymer
Queen of the Damned follows vampire Lestat (Townsend) who wakens in a mausoleum in the 20th century intrigued by rock music his vampire ears pick up. He follows the music to a band practice and joins in as the lead vocalist, surprising and scaring the members.
“I can give you everything you want,” he tells them. A few months later, the band has reached worldwide fame with Lestat as their lead singer.
It’s not the fame Lestat craves. He’s an old vampire who misses his humanity. No sunlight and a lifetime of drinking blood. He reveals to the world he’s a vampire, giving away secrets in the songs he sings. The world isn’t sure to believe what he is but the hunters and other vampires know.
Queen of the Damned looks into Lestat’s past. It shows how he became a creature of the night and who made him one. His past introduces the most powerful vampire of all, Queen Akasha (Aaliyah), who remains a statue waiting for her time to come out in the world. Lestat has woken her up and she seeks to rule the world with him at her side. Lestat has to choose between her and saving humanity from her.
The movie takes a different approach to the vampire genre classics have given us. Lestat is a rock star and has announced what he is to the world. It’s a bit different than the usual must-keep-vampirism a secret most films are about. Lestat’s music throughout the movie is from the band Korn and there’s this goth/rock culture to it that fits the vampire scene.
After introducing Akasha the movie anticipates what kind of evil she is going to do. However, with her eventual appearance it becomes underwhelmed. Akasha is shown as majestic and one to be feared. She controls a room with her presence as she looks for Lestat. But then the movie wraps up soon afterward and is lame. I wanted to see more of her and to be frightened of what she could do. Instead, there wasn’t enough time with her.
Queen of the Damned is as an entertaining vampire movie to keep on your shelf. If you can’t get enough, there’s always the Anne Rice books.