Writer: Moira Buffini (Screenplay) Moira Buffini (Play)
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Mays, Thure Lindhardt, Caleb Landry Jones
Plot: Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Interview With a Vampire: Homework Edition
Story: Byzantium starts by Eleanor (Ronan) talking about how she can’t tell her story even though she spends time writing it over and over. Eleanor tells an elder gentleman the story about how she met Clara (Arterton) and that they are living together but Werner (Lindhardt) is hunting them down. As we continue through introduction we see how both kill their victims but have to leave because of the mess left behind.
New town and same problems Clara enters into the prostitution to try and make ends meet while Eleanor uses the desire to learn about people to help her express herself. After Clara meets Noel (Mays) the girls move into his bed and breakfast called Byzantium where he lets the girls stay. We learn about the code the girls follow to stay safe but Eleanor is desperate to tell people the truth.
We flashback to what happened to Clara 200 years ago we also learn the Eleanor is her daughter that she did in fact give up and we learn about how Ruthven (Miller) put Clara in the life she has now. When Eleanor makes friends with Frank (Jones) she starts to feel like she could open up to someone while we continue to Eleanor pick her victims who are on deaths door. Clara turns the bed and breakfast into a brothel knowing she can make plenty of money from it.
After Eleanor tells her story in the modern day we learn the conclusion of the original story of how the girls become vampires and why they have both been on the run. The past is about to catch up with them but can they out run it this time or will their time finally be up.
Byzantium really does feel like a modern take on the ‘Interview with a Vampire’ idea but puts it into a lost story that is in need of telling. It follows very similar ideas of being forced into the vampire life and also has one character who doesn’t want the story told. It all comes off very nicely and does make for a very solid addition to the vampire genre of films and could easily be enjoyed by the fans of those films too. It won’t go down heavy on blood which certain fans will expect in the vampire genre but it tells a better story of surviving with the curse. (7/10)
Saoirse Ronan: Eleanor permanent 16 year old who craves the connection of other people and just wants to be able to tell her story to but when she meets a young man she could finally have found someone she could have forever. Saoirse does a good job in the role that showed her continues playing the teenage is good for here. (7/10)
Gemma Arterton: Clara mother of Eleanor who works as many different things over the years to make ends meet, mostly prostitution but anything to protect them both from the people who are after them. Gemma does a good job here filling the role of determined minder over the long time span. (7/10)
Jonny Lee Miller: Ruthven the man who put Clara in the situation she finds herself in taking her from quiet job into prostitution leading her to enter into the world they are in now. Jonny does solid job as the original person that leaves them where they are. (6/10)
Caleb Landry Jones: Frank the boy that ends up helping Eleanor open up about her story but ends up putting himself into a situation where he will be in the middle of the war between the girls and the brotherhood who hunt them down. Caleb does a good job in this role that opens up a potential romantic angle. (7/10)
Support Cast: Byzantium has a support cast that tries to help the characters but also has people who are after them, they all mix nicely to make us want to see how it ends.
Director Review: Neil Jordan – Neil does a good job directing this modern day vampire classic. (7/10)
Horror: Byzantium has vampires but really isn’t much of a true horror films. (4/10)
Thriller: Byzantium does keep you guessing as you know that people are after them you just for to wait and see who. (8/10)
Settings: Byzantium uses the settings very nicely and even shows how the characters have been put into familiar location from the past. (8/10)
Suggestion: Byzantium is one to try I don’t think many casual fans will enjoy it but I do think it will appeal to fans of the vampire sub-genre. (Try It)
Best Part: The final twist is nice.
Worst Part: Does have slow spells.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: Interview with a Vampire
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $8 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
Overall: This is a film that could end up going down as a favourite of some but it is too similar to Interview for my liking.