Movie Review: Dracula Untold Tells An Unecessary Story
Dracula Untold is a straight forward origin story based on Bram Stoker’s prologue, made into a feature length film. The idea of a Dracula origin is an inspired one, but ultimately feels like a missed opportunity when they instead present his story as a generic sword and sandals adventure with a dash of superhero lore.
As the movie’s trailer generously divulges: Vlad Tepes, the prince of Transylvania, makes a deal with the devil (Game of Throne’s Charles Dance in vampire drag) in order to save his land from the invading Turks (lead by Dominic Cooper in another disappointing role since The Devil’s Double).
The catch is if Vlad can resist the urge for human blood for three days, he will revert to his human form. Of course we all know in the end Dracula becomes the doomed soul we all know and fear, but the script doesn’t bring anything unique to his journey. Instead, director Gary Shore gives us a very basic coming of age story with a few CGI assisted/ shaky cam battle scenes.
The running time is thankfully short, but like films before it (Hercules, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing) Dracula Untold takes the horror and mystery out of our favorite monster in an attempt to make him more “human.” Which, if we are being honest, defeats the entire purpose.
Ultimately, the spin on The Count’s power with the “psychic bat control” is cool, but it wears thin after the first couple of times Dracula showcases the ability in battle. Kids will like it, horror movie fans will hate it and everyone else in between will be safely entertained but walk away learning nothing new about the world’s most famous vampire.
Dracula Untold as told by Bram Stoker/ Ford Coppola in under 4 mins: