Conclusion: It's about time we're given another vampire film that's actually worthy of our attention. Unlike the genre's recent rip-offs, 'Byzantium' has a lot more than just sulking teenagers – but I fear that it will go the way of 'Let the Right One In' or 'Let Me In' by passing by mostly unnoticed. If you enjoy the deep and moody vampire classic 'Interview with a Vampire,' then you'll surely find 'Byzantium' worthwhile.
Conclusion: Neil Jordan returns to the realm of immortality, blood-sucking, and allegorical folklore with Byzantium , working from Moira Buffini's stage-to-screen script about a vagabond vampire duo who conceal their two-hundred-year secret while taking up residence in an inactive hotel. Horror and suspense are secondary here to dramatic meditations on eternal life and the morality of drinking the blood of humans, along with the intentionally somber depiction of how the two women...
Excerpt: Throughout Byzantium , 16-year-old Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) writes of what she cannot speak—a bit archaically, yes, but she is, after all, over a hundred years old. Living with an older sister, Clara (Gemma Arterton), who might actually be her mother, the cagey lass is almost absurdly forthright on paper, ostentatiously recalling her life story in a notebook before scattering its pages to the wind.
Conclusion: You may be on vampire overload by now, but if you have room in your brain for one more tale of sad immortality and gory bloodsucking, you could do far worse than Byzantium . Director Neil Jordan is no stranger to the genre—he made Interview with the Vampire back in '94—and his return to it is stylish and self-assured, even if he's working with a lower budget here.
Excerpt: Tempting though it might be to blame Twilight for America’s enduring fascination with brooding bloodsuckers, the throbbing vein of influence does not end with Stephenie Meyer. The real queen of the damned is Anne Rice, author of numerous fang-and-bodice bestsellers, whose crimson-ink fingerprints are all over the last two decades of vampire fiction.
Summary: Lacking the requisite scares, and blood, that entice gorehounds, this handsome, femme-driven Irish-Brit co-production is likely to fall between mainstream and arthouse categories among the several territories in which it has sold (excluding North America); better returns await in ancillary.
Summary: While Neil Jordan’s last film, 2009’s beguiling, wholly underrated sea-nymph tale Ondine , stopped short of marking a full-fledged return to the realm of fantastique where he’s notably contributed with Company of Wolves and Interview with the Vampire , Byzantium is such a return - and his most satisfying and cohesive work in years.
Conclusion: A mixture of tough and wistful and reflective and brutal, this is the ideal vampire movie for Twi-hards who’ve had their hearts broken for the first time and want to move on to a less cosy vision of eternal romance with a side order of addiction.