Customer Review

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious, 24 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Byzantium [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
A stunningly original film, full of yearning and sadness, this has to be one of the best things I have watched for a very long time.

Quality Vampire fiction is out there and relatively easy to find but quality Vampire films are a rare breed indeed. Byzantium manages to be one such film through a combination of original elements, intricately woven amongst staples of the genre.

Two female Vampires live a transient existence, fleeing from those who hunt them. The pursuers are no Van Helsings but their own kind. In languorous, dreamlike flashback and modern day counterpoint, their relationships to each other and the strikingly different ways they view the world unfold. Flashback in film is often tricky to pull off, making one element always seem to over power the other but Jordan skilfully interweaves the narratives making both equally compelling and surprising.

Part horror, part drama laced with love and loss, this film is one for true Vampire fans. Saoirse Ronan, who plays Eleanor and Gemma Arterton, (of whom I am not normally a fan) playing Clara act their socks off, fully inhabiting the strange and lonely lives of the immortal. Caleb Landry Jones, who plays Frank, a teenage lad who tries to befriend Eleanor is a revelation in a pivotal role that would have been easy to crash and burn. His yearning is painfully real to watch and it is he that in many ways drives the piece, providing a glimpse of a life that Eleanor wants but can never have.

Neil Jordan's direction and vision is utterly perfect for the subject matter, rendering the film a visual and aural delight as much as an absorbing story. The colours, the lighting, the setting and above all, the knife edge between savagery and vulnerability is handled with masterful subtlety.

For the true aficionado there are markers from the canon of historical and modern Vampire mythology to be found. Numerous in-genre name checks and esoteric gothic touches give this an additional depth for the well-read Vampire fan. Highly recommended and one I will watch again and again. A glorious, gothic masterpiece.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Mar 2014 17:59:06 GMT
JONESY says:
Hi.........How's things?
Still watching horror films i see.
If you haven't seen it, you MUST see "Daughters of Darkness" with Delphine Seyrig.
One of my favourite films.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2014 19:10:55 GMT
Rachel says:
Hey there Jonesy! How lovely to hear from you! Yeah I'm still a horror poster gal! How are you? The old horror forum kinda collapsed under its own weight and I stopped posting or even looking a while ago. If you've not tried them have a gander at the fab new UK set zombie horror series by RR Haywood. I've been reading and reviewing those lately. Very addictive! Anyway, you take care and thanks for the post
Rachel

Posted on 7 Mar 2014 13:08:31 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Mar 2014 13:09:31 GMT
JONESY says:
Don't know if i'll have any time for reading !
My DVD horror collection has exploded to about 3000 and i have hundreds left to watch.
I even converted our garage to store them all.
I got the DVD Delirium 4-book set for Xmas however.
Fantastic for dipping into to discover even more bizarre and outre filmic offerings.
Hope you're well and enjoying life.
Am going to watch Byzantium this weekend.
Jonesy

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2014 17:55:44 GMT
Rachel says:
Indeed I am, Jonesy, well and happy most of the time. Overworked, underpayed, blah blah like us all! You take care and I hope life is treating you well
Rachel
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Location: Brighton, England

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