Take 3: Queen of the Damned Review (Halloween Double Feature Part 2)

Happy Halloween! Just to let you know, there will be spoilers in this review.  If you want to read this Double Feature’s introduction, visit this link:

My Halloween Double Feature: An Introduction

Queen of the Damned poster
Queen of the Damned poster created by Warner Bros. Pictures. Image found at https://www.warnerbros.com/queen-damned
  1. In your introduction for this double feature, you mentioned that both Queen of the Damned and The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire were released in 2002. Can you think of anything from around that time period that could have influenced the creation of this film?

I think there are three things that influenced the creation of Queen of the Damned. The first is the character of Malcolm from Jurassic Park. As I mentioned in my Jurassic Park review, Malcolm is a rock-star-esque mathematician. However, Malcolm appeared to be a likable character. In Queen of the Damned, Lestat was a rock-star-esque vampire. Despite these characteristics, Lestat, for the most part, comes across as a likable character. The second thing is the 1998 film, Blade. I’ve never seen this movie, but I know that it’s a darker and more violent comic book film that, to a certain extent, discusses the subject of vampires. Because this film was successful enough to receive a sequel (that was, ironically, released exactly a month after Queen of the Damned), I’m speculating that Blade inspired the creative team behind Queen of the Damned to make their movie darker and more violent than their predecessor, Interview with the Vampire. The third and final thing is, interestingly, Interview with the Vampire. I’ve never seen this film either, but based on this film’s trailer, it appears to be a gothic film in the old-school sense. Queen of the Damned focuses on the new-school/modern gothic style, which is very different from the first film. Most movie series try to do something different with each new film, so I think this film’s approach was rather creative.

 

2. Were you able to follow along with the story and understand what was going on in the film despite not having read the source material?

For the most part, yes. I did some research about this film before I saw it, so I was aware of certain aspects of the film that some casual movie-viewers might not understand. For instance, in the film’s climax, there are various characters that are introduced. One of these characters is Pandora. If I didn’t know that she is a character from a spin-off book series that Anne Rice wrote, I would have no idea who Pandora was in this film.

 

3. Were your pre-movie questions answered?

Well, two out of my three pre-movie questions were answered. The only question that wasn’t answered was how Lestat survived being burned in the previous film. Honestly, I wasn’t as bothered by this as I thought I would be. Because this movie focused more on Lestat’s present and origin story, re-capping the first film would have felt like Queen of the Damned had too much content.

As for the two questions that did get answered, the reason why Lestat appeared like he was trying to pursue a romantic relationship with Akasha is because, in the movie, Akasha kidnapped Lestat and forced him to in be in relationship with her. Speaking of Akasha, she did reveal that the reason why she loved Lestat was because he reminded her of her deceased husband. As for Jesse, it appeared, in the movie, like she truly loved Lestat. Because she’s a vampire scholar, Jesse wasn’t as fazed by the vampire aspects of Lestat’s world. Also, because her aunt is a vampire, it seemed like Jesse truly appreciated the subject of vampires and the world surrounding them.

 

4. Were you right or wrong in your pre-movie prediction?

I guess I was kind of right in my pre-movie prediction {shrugs with a confused look on my face}. While Lestat was forced into a relationship with Akasha and Jesse wasn’t aware of this until the climax of the film, there is a moment during the film’s climax where Lestat pretends to drink more of Akasha’s blood then he should have. This allowed the other vampires present in that scene to defeat Akasha.

 

5. In this double feature’s introduction, when you talked about your reason for choosing to review Queen of the Damned, you said that the movie clips featured in the MsMojo video, ‘Top 10 Movies Based on Books That Need a Do-Over’, appeared bonkers to you. Was this movie bonkers or do you think these movie clips were taken out of context?

I definitely think these movie clips were taken out of context. To me, Queen of the Damned was not as bonkers as the clips within this video made it seem. The only thing I found bonkers in this movie was Lestat and Akasha’s “relationship” because of how problematic it was.

Old castle in the mountians.
Castle photo created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/old-castle-in-the-mountians_1286237.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

6. In a post from The Blog Complainer titled “How To Make A Good Movie Sequel”, there were several steps listed as if the article were a how-to for making sequels that are good. When a sequel successfully followed these steps, it means they passed the “Good Movie Sequel School for Dummies”. Because Queen of the Damned is a sequel, do you think it passed this school?

Well, yes and no. On the one hand, Queen of the Damned is based on two books from The Vampire Chronicles series. On the other hand, some stories were explored more than others because of this choice. Also, there were no references to Interview with the Vampire besides Lestat being a protagonist in the sequel. Lestat also had different characteristics than he did in the first movie, such as being less self-centered. However, the creative team behind this movie tried to do something different from the first movie. Lestat’s backstory was further explored and there were new characters that were introduced. If Queen of the Damned were enrolled in the “Good Movie Sequel School for Dummies”, it would probably receive a grade of somewhere between a B to C+.

 

7.  Did you acquire any new thoughts and/or questions while watching this film?

Yes, lots! Because this post is already long, I will only list a few of these questions and thoughts.

  • What is Lestat’s net worth?

 

  • Why is there a small amount of security at Lestat’s concert? Since his band was aware of Lestat encouraging other vampires to show up at his concert to try and hurt him, wouldn’t they want to have more security at the concert?

 

  • Why would Jesse and Lestat return Lestat’s journal to David? It’s Lestat’s journal, so why wouldn’t he want to keep it?

 

  • How did Akasha know about Marius and Lestat’s conversation about Lestat needing a companion? Shortly after she kidnaps Lestat, Akasha tells him that she wants to grant his wish of a companion. However, Akasha was not a part of that conversation nor did anyone tell her about that conversation.

 

As I’ve already mentioned, I think that Lestat and Akasha’s “relationship” was problematic. The reason why I put the word relationship in quotations is because Lestat and Akasha were not together for a long period of time and their relationship didn’t develop over a significant amount of time. The way I would describe this “relationship” is with an analogy: the “relationship” is a car and Akasha is driving it. All Lestat is able to do sit in the passenger seat and take orders from Akasha. Honestly, I think this “relationship” is one of the most problematic relationships I’ve ever seen in a movie.

 

I really liked the sets and scenery in this film! For the most part, it made the environments in the movie feel inviting and appealing. I also thought the acting was really good! Everyone portrayed their characters so well and all of the performances were memorable. Something that I didn’t like in this film was most of the music. While I liked the violin music and the music that played during Akasha’s demise, I was not a fan of the goth rock music. When Lestat sang at his concert, he sounded unnecessarily angry. I would rather hear him play the violin than sing.

 

8. In Queen of the Damned, did anything stand out to you, whether for better or worse?

I liked the techniques in story-telling that were used in Queen of the Damned. There were several times when voice-overs from Jesse and Lestat were included to show the film’s story from their specific point-of-view. I think these voice-overs added depth to the story that we wouldn’t have gotten if they weren’t there. Most movies have one main plot and a few subplots. Queen of the Damned was told through several subplots that were all connected to Lestat in some way. I thought this was a very interesting approach to cinematic storytelling that I haven’t really seen before.

 

To me, the biggest flaw of Queen of the Damned is the run-time. This movie combines elements from two novels into one movie. However, the movie itself is one hour and forty-one minutes. Since the creative team knew they were going to incorporate so many story elements into their film, I think this movie either should have been a two-part over-arcing story (like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) or the run-time should have been longer. Because of this, some plots were explored more than others. For example, Lestat’s relationship with Akasha and Jesse seemed to move at a very quick pace, not giving these relationships enough time to develop and grow. I believe that any of my aforementioned solutions could have solved this issue.

 

9. According to the BMeTric charts in the Queen of the Damned Preview from Bad Movie Twins, it appears that interest in this film is rising. Why do you think that is?

Well, I think there’s two reasons for that. The first is negative reviews that the film has received. After hearing these reviews and seeing the 17% it has on Rotten Tomatoes, some people might choose to watch this movie out of curiosity, like I did. The second reason is Aaliyah’s involvement in the film. Some people might choose to watch this film as a way to respect her memory. Others may choose to watch this film because they want to learn more about who she was as a person and entertainer.

 

10. After watching Queen of the Damned, what is the one thing you can take away from this movie viewing experience?

While I think Queen of the Damned could have been a stronger film, I don’t think it’s as bad as some people have made it out to be. To me, this film is decent and I do think it has its merits. After watching this film, I started to notice a very sad pattern. I’ve only seen six vampire movies in my life, including Queen of the Damned. Out of those six, most of them feature at least one problematic relationship that is meant to be romantic. I can’t say if this is a norm in vampires movies or if this is just a pattern in the vampire movies I’ve seen. However, I was happy to see Lestat and Jesse pursue a romantic relationship with each other because, to me, they seemed like they truly loved and cared about each other. Their relationship also appeared to be a healthy one, where Lestat and Jesse loved one another for who they were and appreciated each other’s worlds.

176402-OWIP8M-64
Happy vampire image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/several-vampires-ready-for-halloween_1317599.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/party”>Party vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you to check out the blog posts I referenced, you can visit these links:

Queen of the Damned Preview

How To Make A Good Movie Sequel

11 thoughts on “Take 3: Queen of the Damned Review (Halloween Double Feature Part 2)

    1. Thanks for checking out this review, Cameron! When I first read your post about what it takes to make a good movie sequel, I thought it was a really creative approach to a commonly talked-about subject. Also, while reading your post, Queen of the Damned was one of the first movies that came to mind as I contemplated which sequels would graduate from the “Good Movie Sequel School for Dummies”. It’ll be interesting to see which movies I pair together in another double feature when I publish 200 posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. In the books Lestat has met Akasha before, centuries before and she lets him drink from her which is rare. Marius then leaves him and then the events of Interview with the vampire happen. Lestat and Akasha are both fascinated by each other. She’s sees Lestat as different from the other vampires and more like a Prince. The relationship makes sense to me. This film did not do the book justice too many things were changed and important characters like Louis were just there without explanation or proper scenes. Jesse gave the book to David because he had it to study Lestat to begin with and I think she wanted to explain her choices and let him into the world I guess. This Jesse Lestat relationship never occured in the books and is just one of those movie love stories. Lestat would’ve made a huge deal about Louis and Armand but he doesn’t care here. He was in love with Louis so the love story between him and Jesse makes no sense. Part of his character is portrayed well here but it’s not a good adaption it’s like the makers didn’t bother to read the books.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Jen_bookworm! What you said about Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is one of the reasons why I think the film’s run-time is the biggest flaw of the movie. Had Lestat and Akasha been given enough time to create a shared history with each other, develop a relationship over a significant period of time, and interact with one another more, their relationship in the movie probably wouldn’t have seemed as problematic as it did.

      What you said about Jesse giving the journal back to David does make sense. In the film, David does mention that he wanted to meet Marius. At the end of the film, David finally gets his wish when Marius shows up at his office.

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  2. Pingback: My Halloween Double Feature: A Conclusion – 18 Cinema Lane

    1. Thanks for reading my review, Ronkerria! Out of all the posts I’ve written on this blog, this Halloween Double Feature has been one of my most ambitious projects. Because this Double Feature was created to celebrate the 100th published post on 18 Cinema Lane, I wanted these reviews to look and feel different from the others I’ve written so far. When I publish my 200th post, I will create another double feature in a similar style as this one.

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  3. Pingback: Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: Queen of the Damned (2002) by 18 Cinema Lane | Tranquil Dreams

  4. Pingback: I Received my First Blogger Recognition Award! – 18 Cinema Lane

  5. Pingback: I won the Mystery Blogger Award! – 18 Cinema Lane

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