Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara meets lonely Noel, who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor befriends Frank and tells him their lethal secret. They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood…
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A vampiric borderline masterpiece blending British social realism, Hammer horror, Bourne thriller intensity, feminist overtones and the metaphoric use of violence as paint on a canvas. Stylish, unnerving and stands the test of time.
After waiting a year to see this, it certainly did not disappoint - but that being said, it also did not surprise. The cinematography was cold, bleak, and beautiful, with the charming Ronan and Arterton giving great performances. Unfortunately, there are setbacks such as a toad-faced, over-acting annoyance named Caleb Landry Jones and the surface-level mythology of it all. Despite this, it was gruesome and enjoyable.
Turns out that vampires and the Catholic church have something in common. Which is not super surprising. Both are men's clubs. Everyone in this cast is top-notch. I particularly like Sam Riley, who's doing his Darcy thing. Nice variation on the whole vampire thing.
Good to see before Only Lovers Left Alive. I don't think it would survive the comparison, though. They both dare to say something more, something different about vampires. Neil Jordan picks up the kind of narrative he had in Interview with the vampire. But his creation myth makes these vampires a whole different being, not even photofobic. Jarmusch adds an interesting pathos, to the creatures that face eternity.
Atmospheric staging and fine acting (especially from Gemma Arterton and Sam Riley) bring to (after)life that most haunted of places: the out-of-season chip fat aroma and cheap casino neon glare of the English seaside town.
It lingers a bit too long on some sections; sometimes on the verge of teen-vampire-romance, but as a whole, it works quite well. Neil Jordan really excels on the flashbacks -- operatic, horrific and beautiful.