The 2002 movie Queen of the Damned stars Stuart Townsend as Lestat, Aaliyah as Akasha, and Marguerite Moreau as Jesse Reeves. It is the third book in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.
At the opening of the movie, Lestat narrates, telling us about “sleeping” and “waking.” He doesn’t say when he went to “sleep” or how long he had been, just that he “woke up.” He wants to become a musician and live out in the open. He finds his new band in his “old house.” Does that mean in the house he lived in with Louis? We meet Jesse having a dream of when she was a kid with her Aunt Maharet. In her adult life, she is part of the Talamasca, a secret order that studies and reports on the supernatural.
Not long after Lestat was made by Marius, he found Akasha and Enkel and played violin for them. Akasha offered him her blood which he readily drank. Back in the present day, Jesse goes to the Admiral’s Arms in search of Lestat even after being chastised by the Talamasca for doing fieldwork. While in the bar looking for Lestat, Jesse says Marius’s name, which piques the interest of Lestat. He saves her when three vampires. When we next see Jesse, she is on her way to the concert in Death Valley. She tells David, who begs her to reconsider.
It is sweet to watch Lestat fall in love with Jesse. You could see the attraction on both sides when they first met. When Jesse follows Lestat to the concert, she meets him the night before and tries to get him to change her. He is sorely tempted but resists at the last minute. Jesse still attends the concert the next night to try to somehow help him. The concert goes to hell in a handbasket, but the concertgoers eat it up. In the movie Interview With A Vampire, Lestat was untouchable with soft emotions, though they kind of peeked through with Claudia at times. Love was beyond his scope of abilities in the emotions department, so to see them for Jesse was surprising but gave him motivation.
Jesse gets to meet Aunt Maharet again and her family. Maharet is an ancient vampire who had a child when she was human before she was changed, and Jesse is in that line of humans. We see the ancient vampires with Maharet and Jessie, that were at the concert. It is here that the final showdown takes place. When meet the ancient vampires, I don’t recognize Armand. I watched Interview With A Vampire first and saw Antonio Banderas as Armand. In Queen of the Damned, he is played by Matthew Newton, and he looks nothing like Antonio. Even the Armand in the new Interview With A Vampire series is completely different than them both and unrecognizable as him.
As someone who has never read the books, I enjoy the movies and series based on these books. I did look into if the movie stays anywhere close to true to the book. Not a chance. There were many changes to the characters themselves, and they cherry-picked from the books The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned, and Blood and Gold. With the research I did, I doubt most fans of her books are going to be happy about the movie. I found an article you might like about the book vs. the movies, I will link it here. I think I am going to read the books so I can get the story as it was meant to be told.
A nifty FYI before we close: The singing voices of Lestat are Jonathan Davis from Korn, the late Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, David Draiman from Disturbed, the late Wayne Static from Static X, and Marilyn Mason. I put a video down below of an interview about the soundtrack.
Again, I like the movie, but I would recommend it to those who have not read the books. Have you watched the movie? Have you read the books? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, have fun storming the castle!