HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
Man from Snowy River, The
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo
Girl with the Bracelet, The
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
School Spirits
True History of the Kelly Gang
We All Loved Each Other So Much
Within Our Gates
Watcher in the Woods, The
Pink Thief
Born Free
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  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 1554 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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: