Top positive review
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Excellent For a Vampire Film
on 2 June 2013
Here, we are given a pair of two hundred year old vampires Clara (Gemma Arterton) and Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan), who drift from place to place in hopes of finding peace and comfort, without any trouble. To uphold the average human lifestyle, Clara 'works' for the money to support her and her daughter Eleanor, as they approach a quiet seaside town, one which holds distant, dark and harsh memories for both of them, which begin to resurface with the return of certain characters from the past.
Neil Jordan has directed yet another entertaining and dark, historical vampire horror, that focuses more on a gritty atmosphere and a well-structured storyline with a narrative, much like IWTV, than the gore-laden sub-category of a vampire film. The blood isn't frequent compared to other modern-day horrors, but on the occasions when blood is present, there's a lot of it. The dark atmosphere and the quiet location of the seaside town add to the story as it creates references that connect with Whitby; the location of Bram Stoker's original novel. The soundtrack for Byzantium perfectly reflects the strained relationships between Clara and Eleanor as well as Eleanor and Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), especially Ronan's hypnotising piano sequence in the restaurant, which creates a somber atmosphere. Thankfully the atmosphere is held throughout the film and it never distracts us from the main storyline. I love this film because I had relatively low hopes for it, as I was more interested in watching The Purge, which we went to see straight after Byzantium finished in the cinema. It's funny how Byzantium proved to be much better than The Purge. The acting, the location, the story, and of course, the Blood Red Waterfalls on the coal black island, all contribute to this fine piece of cinema which I would surely watch again. It is well worth a watch.