With the vampire genre still in the height of its popularity it is always interesting to see what filmmakers do with the blood suckers. More often than not they go the mainstream feel which sadly loses the horror aspect that was the originality of the creatures. There are still a few here and there that drip into the mix that go the darker route like the latest Byzantium featuring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton, but does it flash its fangs enough to bring it alive or should it be staked before it can rise?
Byzantium follows two mysterious women who seek refuge from a lonely man in his run-down resort. When one of them reveal their dark secret need to survive on human blood to a young man she is falling for, the secret spreads bringing their past back to haunt them with deadly consequences. While this isn’t your typical vampire film, it still manages to incorporate all the proper attributes to make it stand out. The story is a bit slow paced, but is crafted well enough to keep you interested. It uses multiple time lines to tell the story of these characters bouncing between the past and present with intriguing results to give these seemingly one dimensional characters depth. There is never any of the usual horror pure evil vampire nature here, but instead two individuals trying to survive the only way they can while dealing with actual real world issues between them. While some may have issues with the way the story is crafted, they took the a slower build aspect which helped this story come together as opposed to just straight forward blood and gore. Make no mistake there are some blood splattering fun moments but doesn’t overshadow the overall story. Both Ronan and Arterton deliver great performances in these roles having decent chemistry together as well as bringing the coldness and emotion these characters need to work within this world.
This is one of those films that delivers an interesting take on the vampire genre, but will most likely be met with mixed reviews due to the pacing and direction. Either way it will surely get the vampire fans talking and at least brings the vampire back to the world where it belongs. If you are a fan of vampires and looking for a real vampire film then give this one a try, you might be surprised.