Shot on inventive locations around London, this modern-day vampire pic takes its thematic inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's sombre poem 'Annabel Lee'. Sands plays Alex, an ageless bloodsucker haunted by the loss of his true love, Virginia. Trailing Alex is a mysterious stranger (Cranham) hell-bent on revenge; and when Alex becomes obsessed with Virginia-lookalike Anne (Hamilton, gratingly winsome), the stranger uses her to lure his prey. Although director Sato is Japanese, her visual style owes more to Tony Scott than to any oriental tradition; smoke swathes the screen and light blasts elegantly through half-drawn blinds at every opportunity. For such a low-budget film, it looks terrific, and comparison with The Hunger does it an injustice, in that understated dialogue is used here to evoke a genuine sense of loss entirely lacking from most mainstream fodder. Although Sato's script unravels far too slowly, strong performances by Cranham and Sands keep the life-blood flowing in this flawed but impressive debut.