Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MOVIE: Byzantium

Another vampire movie to appear recently on Netflix is BYZANTIUM.  In theory this film should be bowed down by he weight of its tired old tropes of first love, coming of age, mother/daughter strife and braided present-and-past storylines.  Yet somehow the quality of the screenplay and acting, and downbeat but atmospheric look of the movie carry it through.

It may help that vampirism gives both the length of time and the stakes to make melodramatic behavior of the leads believable motivations.  Mother vampire seeks a quiet life of transient prostitution to conceal her daughter from an ancient threat she has never fully explained to the girls. Daughter seeks a more refined and respectable lifestyle and yearns to tell someone, perhaps her new quasi-boyfriend, the truth about who she really is.

Both backstory and current conflict come to a crux on a dark pier, where both heroines will be either destroyed or transformed.

See also

Saturday, July 18, 2015

MOVIE The Unwanted (2014)

I started watching this movie on Netflix without having any idea what I was about, and I suspect that is the best way to watch it.  Then the vampire twist part way through, while somewhat foreshadowed, is still rather surprising and pleasantly shocking.

Hannah Fierman is the stand out performer as Laura, the young woman fascinated by the drifter Carmilla (Kristen Orr in an understated performance). William Kat is the least convincing, chewing the scenery as Laura's semi-psychotic father.

The movie works in its own right as a modern gothic, ad is also a retelling (rather loosely) of Carmilla that vampire aficionados will appreciate.  The movie starts rather slow but the narrative and cinematography built towards an evocative and visually compelling ending.

Highly recommended.


Links: IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes.