Saturday, October 22, 2011

Aaliyah- Queen of the Damned (2002)

August 25th of this year marked the 10 year anniversary of the tragic death of 22-year-old R&B singer and actress, Aaliyah. The talented young woman was most known for her music career, but she was also in a few feature films, as well. So, today, she is given the honor of Ultimate Woman of Horror for her role as Queen Akasha in Queen of the Damned (Rymer, 2002).


Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles reinvigorated the literary horror genre, and created a new vampire to frighten and entertain readers. With Interview With The Vampire (Jordan, 1994), viewers were able to relate to the likable and distraught self-hating vampire Louis, the character responsible for figures like Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.


While Queen of the Damned is a flawed film in many regards, it is a film full of sexual tension and quality vampirism. This is how vampires should be shown. We all know that Stephanie Meyer set vampires (not to mention women) back several decades with her creation of the Twilight saga. It is with strong female vampires like Akasha and Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) in Interview and vampire hunters like Buffy and Faith that viewers and readers need to turn when faced with weak female protagonists such as Bella Swan.


As she is only in the last third of the film, Aaliyah was faced with quite a difficult task, to change our loyalties from Lestat to her. This is easily done as Stuart Townsend's performance is mediocre at best, but with her commanding performance, Aaliyah makes the audience forget all about the awkward gothic music scene that fills the first portion of the film and makes you believe that she has in fact been there all along. This film may not be the most critically acclaimed of vampire films, but it is gothic eye candy at its finest. Townsend and Aaliyah have an intense sexual chemistry that would make Edward Cullen blush and helps prove that vampires can be sexy without giving in to male dominance. Akasha runs the show here, and there is no question about that.


It is with a heavy heart that we remember Aaliyah ten years after the tragic accident that resulted in her death. We will never know how far her career would have gone, but we do know that in the short life she led, she made a huge impact on the music and film industries.

R.I.P. Aaliyah (1979-2001)

Check back tomorrow for more awesome women of horror.

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