I know us film critics are meant to be a miserable, cynical bunch, but occasionally a still from a film appears and catches you off guard, with its arms open, gently whispering ‘you must see me’.

That, ladies and gents, was how I felt after setting eyes on the official image for Byzantium (shown above), a vampire flick with a difference from director Neil Jordan.

Now if that makes me shallow, then so be it – but I’m still looking forward to the film nonetheless.

Gemma Arterton plays Clara, a 200-year-old vampire intent on draining the earth of its scum.

Tacking along for the ride is her daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan), who has a penchant for the blood of the elderly.

Clara works as a prostitute to pay the bills, eventually setting up her own bordello in a sleepy seaside resort – but then their troubles begin…

Jordan obviously has serious pedigree with this type of material, having brought both Interview With The Vampire and A Company Of Wolves to the big screen.

Early word suggests this is a bit of a slow-burner, but Frightfest fans get to check it out on Friday, February 22.

About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle