It's been a while since Neil Jordan dipped back into the horror well. In the past decade he's tackled a glossy studio revenge movie ("The Brave One"), a mermaid tale ("Ondine"), a high-profile remake ("The Good Thief") and whatever the hell "Breakfast on Pluto" was. (He was also busy supervising the television series "The Borgias.") Well, Jordan is about to return to his roots with the vampire tale "Byzantium," set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. How about watching the first (squishy) clip?
We're not sure exactly what's going in the clip, provided by Empire, but it features Saoirse Ronan's character Eleanor and Caleb Landry-Jones' Frank. Frank seems to be bleeding quite badly and Eleanor, a vampire, can't resist sucking at the bloody rags he leaves behind. Ick. It's a fairly gooey clip, and Ronan's garb shows off Jordan's penchant for fairy tale imagery (remember all the apples in "In Dreams?"), even if the production itself looks a little bit on the lower budget side of things.
"Byzantium," which also stars Gemma Arterton (as Saoirse's partner-in-vampire-crime), Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, and Daniel Mays, is broken down in the official synopsis as being about: "Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara (Arterton) meets lonely Noel, who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor befriends Frank and tells him their lethal secret. They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence." Okay then!
The last time Jordan tackled creatures of the night was for the controversial big-budget Tom Cruise vehicle "Interview with the Vampire," which stands up pretty well nearly twenty years on — remaining kind of huge and operatic. And once the fuss died down, everyone admitted to thinking Cruise was a pretty good Lestat (even the character's originator, prickly author Anne Rice). The scale of "Byzantium" is decidedly smaller, but it could be just as effective. We can't wait to hear what people think coming out of Toronto.