Byzantium – DVD review

Neil Jordan belatedly revisits a resurrected genre in this bold attempt to bring Ken Loach-style grit to vampires

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Neil Jordan, 2012

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The undead have had a new lease of life since Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire in 1994. Now Jordan belatedly revisits a resurrected genre where the bar has been raised by Let the Right One In (2008). Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan star as two vampires in present-day Britain but on the run from their 200-year-old past.

Ronan is captivating as a girl doomed to be “16 forever”, but Arterton is more like a vampy villainess from EastEnders. It’s a bold attempt to bring Ken Loach-style grit to vampires, but the result is uneven, and descends at times into bloodgushing silliness.

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