Look, I thought Byzantium was just going to be a movie about erudite vampire prostitutes, but it’s probably one of the best feminist movies I’ve seen in ages. It’s like a version of Postcards from The Edge but better as it involves more vampirism.
The basic premise revolves around a mother Clara and her daughter Eleanor. They’re both vampires. They move to a seaside town and into an abandoned hotel called the Byzantium, and, you know, they eat people. They also fall in love and deal with the fact that after 200 years, Eleanor is finally growing up.
Look, here are reasons you want to go see it, really.
1) Because no one has fought vampires in high heels since Buffy, and that’s been a while.
2) Because the costumes are a fantastic play on the vampire costumes you see in any movie. Clara wears such elaborately sexy bustiers that you have to realize that it is a joke on how female vampires are supposed to look.
3) Because it reminds you, over and over, that being in the sex trade does not make you stupid. Or base. Or any of the other words that men fling at the characters before those men end up dead.
4) Because it allows the main characters to be remorseless. They eat people. Bad people, in the mother’s case, and old people, in the daughter’s, but still, people. They feel fine about it. They do not sit around cringing and talking about how they should live on rat’s blood, because it’s not Interview with The Vampire.
5) Because the funniest moment in the movie may be when a group of male vampires tell Clara that they are “the pointed nails of justice” and she rolls her eyes ceilingward. There is no point where she seems to be under the misinterpretation that she’s living in a comic book.
6) Because it asserts the right of women to create alongside men.
7) Because, though Clara states that she only kills those “who prey upon women” the men aren’t cartoon villains. There plenty of men throughout the film who seem fantastic, and good natured.
8) Because, really, you’ve got a long weekend, it’s a great time to go see vampire movies.