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Byzantium (15)

Byzantium (15)

Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

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.

The critical consensus

Not just another vampire movie, Byzantium is seductive, stylish and quietly captivating. Arguably the best vampire movie since Let The Right One In.

****(*)Stephen Carty, Flix Capacitor, 02/03/2013

The film often meanders, but these delicious moments of surprise and invention more than compensate.

***(*)(*)Jamie Dunn, The Skinny, 20/05/2013

Eye-catching though both performances are, Byzantium remains an indecisive oddity with ­Jordan’s rhythm of reverie never quite finding its groove.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 25/05/2013

Well made, but was it worth making?

***(*)(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 31/05/2013

Their characters are not the only things about this film that have been de-fanged.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 31/05/2013

A mixture of tough and wistful and reflective and brutal, this is the ideal vampire movie for Twi-hards who’ve had their hearts broken for the first time and want to move on to a less cosy vision of eternal romance with a side order of addiction.

****(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 31/05/2013

Visually the film is arresting, creating a fairytale look to the flashbacks with waterfalls of cascading blood, mist-covered islands of doom and vampires who use spindly nails to slit open the veins of their victims rather than pointed teeth.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 31/05/2013

So, all in all, you can't help feeling that Byzantium nudges self-homage, or even self-parody. That wouldn't matter if it were less garbled and frantic.

Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 01/06/2013

It ends, appropriately, with a car-crash, a beheading, and a possible answer to who burnt down Hastings Pier. Oh those pesky vampires!

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 31/05/2013

Byzantium has lots to offer but an uncomfortably split personality: equal parts emo teen drama and high-gloss horror. It also leaves its attempt to reposition itself as a feminist fable far too late.

***(*)(*)Laurence Phelan, The Independent, 31/05/2013

There’s more to English Gothic than spurts of gore and heaving cleavage, and though Byzantium has both of those things in happy abundance, it bungles the chance to delve deeper.

**(*)(*)(*)Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 30/05/2013

Jordan, torn between satisfying mainstream tastes and attempting something more critical, seems similarly ill-at-ease. All this anaemic exercise demonstrates is how vampirism as a theme has, for now, been bled dry, and that even a thoughtful creative can do nothing to revive it.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Mike McCahill, The Telegraph, 01/06/2013

Jordan tells this peculiar romance confidently, and it is rivetingly shot by cinematographer Sean Bobbitt.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 30/05/2013

Byzantium is a complex film that combines a traditional gothic horror story (though not one that sticks to traditional vampire law), social history and a realistic account of dealing with authentic physical distress.

Philip French, The Observer, 02/06/2013

Features about Byzantium (15)

Director Neil Jordan and actor Gemma Arterton talk vampire feminism in Byzantium

James Mottram, The List, 17/05/2013

Myth Making: Neil Jordan on Byzantium

Jamie Dunn, The Skinny, 20/05/2013

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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