A spellbinding movie to sink your teeth into

Byzantium starrring Saoirse Ronan as Eleanor Webb. PA Photo/Studio Canal.
Byzantium starrring Saoirse Ronan as Eleanor Webb. PA Photo/Studio Canal.

Long before Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart sank their pearly whites into The Twilight Saga, British director Neil Jordan was entertaining A-list bloodsuckers on the big screen.

Almost 20 years later, Jordan plants a stake back in the genre with Byzantium, an intelligent and moody thriller.

And luminous young actress Saoirse Ronan holds our attention with her tortured and mournful glances.

Ballsy single mother Clara Webb (Gemma Arterton) arrives in a rundown seaside resort with her daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) in tow.

In order to make ends meet, Clara sells her body to residents and holidaymakers, earning just enough to keep the pair off the streets.

Every now and then, she sinks her teeth into an unsuspecting punter and we discover, in flashback, that Clara is in fact a vampire who was much abused in the 19th century by a libidinous captain (Jonny Lee Miller) and has wrought revenge on mankind ever since.

Eleanor is her equally bloodthirsty ward, who refuses to abide by the ancient code.

The vampires soon hit the jackpot when they meet a lonely misfit (Daniel Mays).