Over the years the vampire genre has been exploited to death. You’ve had Victorian and Civil War era vampires, foreign child vampires (later adapted into American child vampires), sparkling vampires, sex crazed vampires, and butt kicking vampires in love with hybrids, just to name a few. Along the way the idea of Vampires has gotten lost. Whatever makes them look sexy, good. Who cares about their glorious past.
Byzantium is a film that I ended up loving for the simple fact that the main characters in the film are in fact vampires, but the real star of the film is the vampire legend itself (with a few fresh turns), and although the film does dash around some sexuality, at it’s core, the film is a brilliant inside look what lies behind the true face of a legend.
Soairse Ronan (The Host) and Gemma Arterton (Tess of the D’Urbervilles) are two vampires that have lived for over 200 years. They come to a small community where they take up residence in a guest house and sisters, but in reality the two are Mother and Daughter who are on the run from their horrible secret. They are vampires.
Neil Jordon (The Crying Game) surpasses the usual clichés for vampires and instead skips through to the underlying story of vampirism. Yes, there is gore. Yes they feed on blood. The real story ties together with the lives of these two women who are both hunted and misunderstood, even by themselves. Their lives cursed with loneliness, paranoia, and fear. What use is it to be somewhat immortal and powerful if it’s a curse more then it is a blessing.
Other issues that pop up involved sexism, women empowerment, love, rage, and some sociological issues that are compacted by the use of a small rural town setting. There’s just so much to ponder in this incredibly captivating film that I can hardly reveal more so as not to ruin the film completely. Still, like Moon, which was made incredibly well due to the one man performances by the incredible Sam Rockwell, this film stands on the shoulders of its actresses who make it what it is. Absolutely captivating.
Picture looks amazing. I had my worries with the whole depression, rage, fear ambiance that usually sets these types of films in a gray area, an area that usually results in a lot of white noise, but it ended up looking great. Sound was great as well. A great combination of picture and sound quality that sucks you right into the film.