Byzantium - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Byzantium Reviews

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November 28, 2016
At last something worthy of interview with the vampire. It's a slow movie which focuses on exploring what it means being a vampire, rather than how cool it is supposed to be. A must see for any vampire film fan.
October 30, 2016
It is interesting to see a vampire movie that focuses more on what life would be like for someone who does not age. A life like that could be lonely, especially since you would need to kill people and drink their blood to stay alive. Most vampire stories focus on humans and view vampires as monstrous figures, but this movie places the focus on the vampire and thus humanizes them. It is less about drinking blood and more about a sense of family, growing up, and finding love. Unlike the Twilight series, this has a darkness and realism to the movie. The relationships between the characters are not straightforward feel-good fairytales. It has a strong story that takes time to unfold; there are mysterious elements to the main characters and their past. Through a series of conversations, writings, and flashbacks, a rich and full story of interconnected characters emerges. At times, the somber expressions and melancholy of the main character pulls the energy down, but not too much. Saoirse Ronan is believable as a lonely girl who craves a rewarding warm relationship with others. Gemma Arterton is even better as her protective guardian, who lives in the shadows, always on the move and avoids close relationships. If you like typical vampires, this will not have enough action to satisfy you. It is primarily a drama; the vampire lure is secondary to the characters. They get the most important things right with the story and acting. If you have the patience for the slower pace and a different take on vampires, then it is a good pick.
½ October 26, 2016
"Byzantium" gushes blood and exudes gloom, but with a story that's far less compelling than it's dark elegance, some might believe that it was all in vein.
October 13, 2016
Don't know why, but I really like this movie. I watch it often.
June 21, 2016
Very stylish and well acted vampire saga.
May 1, 2016
lost interest.......
½ April 10, 2016
watched the first half an hour and turned it off. so boring.
April 7, 2016
Neil Jordan made an art-house film about werewolves in Company of Wolves, turning the Red Riding Hood story into a darkly erotic gothic horror. He's tried to repeat the trick for vampires here, and nearly succeeded.

Over a fairly measured (slow?) 2 hours, he tells the tale of 2 female vampires, who are able to exist in sunlight, and blood-let as much through a fang-like nail as with the more traditional teeth. There are strong themes of men exploiting women for sex, and women getting their own back.

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan are great in the leading roles, both vulnerable and defiant in their own way, but none of the supporting characters do very much to provide a strong counterpoint for their story, which means it can all flag, more than a little.

There are some excellent scenes and a lot of craft in the film-making, but it perhaps feels like less than the sum of its parts...
March 26, 2016
Great story. It serves its purpose as a one off with no need for fleshing out, even though much is left to the imagination as far was wondering why such a "shrine" exists, for example, or what is the history of "The Brotherhood".
About that shrine, I found it intriguing that such a fantastical and ominous facility would exist on an island outpost far from human habitation. It isn't a device used in any other vampire myth or story of which I am aware.
There are no scares here, only drama and dark fantasy. It's nearer the art house end of the horror spectrum. I do recommend it.
½ March 22, 2016
Sexy and creepy, but somehow it manages to remain slightly boring, and lacking a standout element.
March 6, 2016
A wonderful movie about motherhood, time, and being a vampire.
½ February 8, 2016
One of the better vampire movies that bring the genre back from the mawkish love stories of recent decades to their rightful place as the ruthless beings they are supposed to be.
½ January 5, 2016
Strange Irish slow movie about a mother and her daughter struggling to survive as vampires in our society.
November 29, 2015
Two female vampires move to a coastal resort and start developing relationships but also find their present day lives are linked to their past.
½ November 16, 2015
something a little different. worth watching on the weekend, mid-day, when you don't feel like doing much else. Gemma is hawt.
November 13, 2015
Too long to see Caleb.
½ November 3, 2015
"It's as if Mary Shelly & Edgar Allan Poe got together and had a very strange little child"~ my favorite, very fitting line of this story. I am not one to like Horror for Horror sake, there must be a story that is to my mind feasible, this had one not just worth watching but one that compelled me throughout like a Bram Stoker or Mary Shelly work where the undead is still quite human.
November 1, 2015
When I think of vampire movies, I tend to think Gothic: Dracula, capes, etc., although I know some other probably think more Emo: the Twilight crowd.

This, I felt, falls somewhere in between.

These vampires can walk around in the day, and are centuries (2) old, but the film is more about vampire angst (never thought I'd say those two words together!) than what you would normally think.

Slow moving and creepily eerie, but doubt I'd be in an hurry to watch it again.
November 1, 2015
This is one of the best vampire movies I have seen in a long time. Neil Jordan seems to have a talent for them.
October 31, 2015
I was surprised by how much I liked this film. Dark, moody, with some costume history thrown in. It's a different spin on the vampire story involving a secret "brotherhood", only one way (and location, which seems oddly close to England) to become a vamp, and this variety walks in daylight! Big hints at end of a sequel - I do hope they make another.
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