Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Byzantium (2013, Neil Jordan)


Every vampire movie focuses on the cost of immortality, as the creatures of the night live forever by subsisting on the blood of the living. Neil Jordan has made horror films before, and his elegant and stylish Byzantium, while good feels a tad familiar. As if it’s a female based version of his 1990s vampire epic Interview With the Vampire, a film I did enjoy. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton play daughter and mother vampit’s who are forced to move from place to place.

What Ronan’s young Eleanor mistakenly does is establish a connection with a young local man who falls in love with her. Its clear that her mother, Clara is controlling yet wishes to keep her safe matter the cost. This is conveyed also through rather compelling flashbacks which also feature Jonny Lee Miller and Sam Riley.

However Byzantium has the same problem and issues that Interview did, although I prefer Byzantium slightly. Each movie is a bit too cold and moves too slowly at times, and certain scenes don’t work even though the cinematography is stunning. Later day vampire movies have raised the bar a bit, and so I might not be properly appreciating this movie enough. I doubt it, though.

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