HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
Danger Within
Rent-A-Pal
Battle in Outer Space
H-Man, The
Painted Bird, The
Finding Steve McQueen
Ropes
Five Easy Pieces
Peninsula
Nuclear
Queen of Hearts
Chinese Evil Technique
Primal
3 and a Half Kung Fu Girls
   
 
Newest Articles
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
   
 
  Byzantium Seaside Suckers
Year: 2012
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Daniel Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonny Lee Miller, Kate Ashfield, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Uri Gavriel, Thure Lindhardt, Warren Brown, Gabriela Marcinková, Barry Cassin, Jeff Mash, Glenn Doherty, Tom Hollander
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Eleanor Webb (Saoirse Ronan) likes to write stories about her life, as it has been a very long life indeed, but she cannot ever share the results with anyone because of a pact she has made with her mother Clara (Gemma Arterton) never to disclose the details of their existence together. This means she has a habit of tearing out the pages of her notebooks and scrumpling them up, then throwing them out of the window to be carried away by the wind. This has brought attention from one old man who has noticed and read them, which allows Eleanor to carry out her vocation...

Which is to suck the blood of the living, because she's one of those vampires you hear so much about, or did in the early twenty-first century when the Twilight series of books and movies made them big business once again. When Byzantium was released, it was seemingly impossible to mention it without also referring to that franchise, either to say it was Twilight for those who preferred blood in their horror films, or to distance it from the perceived soppiness of Stephenie Meyer's creations, but you could see Moira Buffini's script being the basis for a series of yarns based around the mother-daughter team of Clara and Eleanor with its very particular backstory, vein-opening thumbnails and all.

Actually, this was less intent on romance, though there was an element of that when Eleanor strikes up a friendship with the sickly Frank (Caleb Landry Jones) and threatens to blab all her secrets to him, and more on the parental relationship when the offspring is the more responsible one. With its British setting in an off season seaside town, Byzantium was oddly reminiscent of A Taste of Honey in its premise, not the supernatural business but Clara depending on her daughter more than her daughter depends on her, and this leads them to drift apart, except the classic sixties kitchen sink movie did not have the two characters reunite when some authority or other arrives in town to bring them to justice.

That's male vampire on female vampire justice, it should be pointed out, as nobody from the actual police appears to investigate the spate of fluid-drained bodies presumably doted around the country, though this was a story most interested in its own mythology rather than one reaching for social realism. This was in spite of a tone aiming through Neil Jordan's direction to be as downbeat, therefore as convincing, as possible, as if he was trying to retool his work for Interview with the Vampire with an authentic female slant, and that had Tom Cruise played by Arterton and Brad Pitt as Ronan, their most obvious movie star counterparts of around twenty years later. Or maybe not, but Arterton appeared to be having a lot more fun than her co-star.

Saoirse barely smiled once throughout the entirety of her screen time, and was such a moping presence that she brought the rest of the movie down to that level, not anything she was not required to do by the script, but you did feel the heart sink a little when the plot returned to Eleanor and her thwarted attempts at self-expression. Gemma's was, by contrast, a far more vibrant performance, and lifted the moody atmosphere considerably whenever she sprung into action as she persuades a local loser (Daniel Mays) to allow her and her daughter to move into his empty hotel home and turn the place into a brothel. Meanwhile, Eleanor brings unwise atttention when the essay she wrote for Frank is submitted by him against her wishes to the school she is tentatively attending, even though she really has no reason to other than to keep the story plodding along. With flashbacks to two hundred years ago and the ladies' transformation via a magical island, Byzantium threatens to become more absorbing than it eventually is, though Arterton's energy kept it watchable. Music by Javier Navarrete.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1794 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: