Neil Jordan's Byzantium, out on DVD and Blu-ray today, deserves to find a larger audience on home video. It's a smart, somber take on modern vampires, following two young women (Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton) who have been hiding their true blood-sucking nature for two centuries. There's plenty of gloomy atmosphere and sharp performances, along with thoughtful consideration of what it really means to be so cut off from the rest of mankind.
The vampires eventually find refuge in a former hotel, the Byzantium, located in a quiet village by the sea. By way of comparison, where have other modern vampires "hidden in plain sight," as it were?
The Lost Boys (1987)
Hiding place: Santa Clara, California, a sunny beach town. Suspicion factor: medium; the town is known as the murder capital of the world, but the rowdy night life and popular amusement park is a perfect cover for the vampires' activity. Grade: B.
The Hunger (1983)
Hiding place: Manhattan. Suspicion factor: medium; eight million residents offer plenty of variety, but the blood must be drained in a luxurious townhouse, making the capture of new victims difficult. Grade: C.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Hiding place: A bar in Mexico. Suspicion factor: zero, since the bar is located in the middle of the desert. On the down side, it's in the middle of nowhere, so how often are there enough thirsty patrons to feed on? Grade: B.
Hiding place: Forks, Washington, a cold, cloudy, remote town. Suspicion factor: low; local residents like to keep to themselves, ignoring the pale-looking Cullens. Grade: A-.
Fright Night (2011)
Hiding place: the Las Vegas suburbs. Suspicion factor: low; everyone keeps to themselves, and the house has been remodeled, adding secret rooms so the vampire can comfortably feed on his victims. Grade: A.
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