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Byzantium may be the year’s ultimate horror movie, because it is about a girl who is sixteen years old forever, and I can’t think of many things more horrible than spending eternity in that transitional phase.

Saoirse Ronan plays a woman who appears to be young, but in fact is a vampire, and has been since she was sixteen… which was a couple hundred years ago. Her mother, played by Gemma Arterton, is also a vampire, and they must periodically flee to a new safe haven. The film finds them settling into a dilapidated coastal town, but secrets are revealed, and trouble brews.

Neil Jordan directs from a script by Moira Buffini, and Byzantium looks like it is cut straight from the cloth Jordan used for films such as Interview With the Vampire and The Company of Wolves. Jordan’s visuals, captured by Hunger and Shame cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, are lovely, and this first US trailer presents them well. Read More »

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Saoirse Ronan in from Neil Jordan’s Byzantium

Nearly two decades after Interview With the Vampire, director Neil Jordan is heading back into bloodsucker territory with Byzantium. Based on the young adult play A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini, the film follows two 200-year-old “sisters” who arrive in a small coastal town.

The outgoing older one, Clara (Gemma Arterton) takes up with a sweet man named Noel (Daniel Mays) and turns his family’s old guesthouse into a brothel, while the younger, more introspective Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) meets and falls for the sickly Frank (Caleb Landry Jones). But whatever peace they find is threatened when their secrets and misdeeds catch up with them. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.

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Hansel and Gretel Witch Hungers

Hollywood is bound to run out of good fairy tales to adapt sooner or later, but of course even that doesn’t have to spell the end of the fairy tale reimagining trend. As long as sequels are still a thing, each one of these adaptations can be stretched out into a franchise. And that’s precisely what’s happening with one that opened earlier this year.

Despite a talented cast and an outrageous premise, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters failed to make much of an impression in the U.S. when it hit theaters two months ago. But it’s had much better success overseas, and as of today has earned a worldwide total of $205 million, or four times its $50 million budget. So you can probably guess where this is headed next. Paramount has just announced that it is pushing ahead with a Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters sequel. Hit the jump for more info.

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If you’re attracted to the idea of a fable-like vampire tale but don’t want to forego big splashes of blood and big, baroque emotional arcs, then Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium might be one to see. The film features Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as mother and daughter, with the twist being that they share vampiric blood. They’re trying to maintain the undead version of a living in a small town, but when Ronan’s character sparks to a young man played by Caleb Landry Jones, things get out of control.

Jonny Lee MillerSam Riley, and Tom Hollander also show up in the story that marks Jordan’s return to vampires following his 1994 effort Interview With the Vampire. (There are also distinct shades of his 1984 fairy tale A Company of Wolves here, as well.)

Reviews of this one out of TIFF last year were mixed, but this new international trailer does a good job of setting up the film as something fun and a bit set off from the now-typical film depiction of vampires. Read More »

The fairy tale trend continues in full swing in 2013, with Tommy Wirkola‘s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters kicking things off later this month. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as the titular siblings, now all grown up and exterminating witches for profit. (Though, as Gretel mordantly notes, “we’d do this shit for free.”)

Earlier trailers have showcased the dark side of witch hunting and the twisted sense of humor that comes with it. The latest red-band connect some dots by laying out the plot and delving into the siblings’ sad past. Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, and Zoe Bell also star. Watch it after the jump.

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If you think there’s nothing more hilarious than old people singing “Let’s Talk About Sex,” or more heartwarming than a prickly old grump revealing himself to be a big ol’ softie, then Paul Andrew Williams‘ comedy-drama Unfinished Song is for you.

Terence Stamp stars as a cranky pensioner who joins a choir to please his beloved wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave). Initially, he’s irritated by the wacky ways of conductor Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton), but under her guidance he eventually comes to discover a new side of himself. Christopher Eccleston also stars. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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2012 saw a couple of high-profile fairy tale releases, but the trend is really just getting started. 2013 has a couple such titles due out in just the first three months, including Tommy Wirkola‘s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters in January and Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Slayer in March.

Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t promising non-fantasy movies due out as well. One we’re especially looking forward to is Side EffectsSteven Soderbergh‘s possibly final theatrical release. Check out new posters for all three films after the jump.

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The very title of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters suggests a very self-consciously silly good time, as does the involvement of director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow). So one of the disappointing aspects of the first trailer was how seriously it seemed to take the concept. Though star Jeremy Renner got to toss off a few witticisms, for the most part it seemed invested in showing us how dark the world of witch-hunting could be.

In contrast, the latest trailer seems to have a much better sense of humor. Taking full advantage of its red-band status, it gleefully dishes up blood and gore and even a healthy smattering of sexuality. Remember when Hansel suggested cutting off witches’ heads in the last trailer? The new one shows us just what that action looks like. Gemma Arterton and Famke Janssen also star. Check out the NSFW video after the jump.

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