SPOILER FREE REVIEW
If there was a film that made us want to strip away the myth of Dracula and meet the man, this was it. Luke Evans stars in an emotional tale of the Prince who gave everything he had to save his people.
Incredibly similar to the 1992 Coppola film of Vlad the Impaler yet with its own organic twist, debut director Gary Shore brings together the menace of the overlord-vampire Charles Dance, the anguish of Evans, and the almost laughable ‘Turkish Sultan’, as portrayed by Dominic Cooper, to revamp (pun intended) one of the oldest horror stories known to man. The question left at the end of the 92 minute movie was whether he did the legend justice.
Love of his wife, his country and his son leads the tortured Prince Vlad to give the ultimate sacrifice; gaining the skills of the vampire to defeat the impending Turkish invasion at the risk of his immortal soul. Even with the ability to command or become a colony of bats, superstrength, and an odd pulsating x-ray vision, Evans’ Dracula somehow remains more human than we ever thought possible even in his darkest hour.
However much we may have rooted for the strong warrior with the romantic heart, the origins story created for Count Dracula does indeed come full circle to the legend, in a manner that was slightly more palatable to the public of today; the special effects of the vampiric face were excellent but there was none of the open bloodshed expected in a film set in the 15th century.
Although at times suspense feels slightly forced, the misunderstood anti-hero box was ticked and won the heart of the audience. There was room for more development of the inherently bloodthirsty nature of Vlad the Impaler and less need for a shaky camera whenever violence was implied, however overall to viewers who do not feel the need to connect this with anything other than an abstract legend it was an enjoyable film.
This review has been published on my student newspaper’s website, see it on Exeposé!