Dracula Untold – Movie Review

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia we had the chance to see Gary Shore‘s Dracula Untold’ before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!

dracula-untold-1Dracula Untold is a re-imagination of the origins of the iconic vampire created by Bram Stoker back in 1897. The story follows warrior prince Vlad (Luke Evans), who after being forced to fight for the Turkish empire from a young age, becoming a legendary warrior in the process, returns to his Transylvanian castle intent on spending time with his family and preserving the peace of his kingdom.

Vlad’s fate take a different course when the new Turkish Sultan (Dominic Cooper) demands all the kids under 15 years join his army, including Vlad’s son Ingeras (Art Parkinson). This forces the prince to take action and he makes a deal with an ancient demon vampire (Game of Throne‘s Charles Dance) to gain the power to protect his family by becoming a monster.

dracula-untold-3Dracula Untold, is a classic example of a film that had all to elements to entertain and amaze, but fails in the execution, mostly because of a poorly conceived script. The average 90 minutes of the film feels really slow and features many time consuming dialogs that steal time from the action sequences, leaving huge plot holes regarding Dracula’s weaknesses.

Performance wise, Luke Evans does a decent job as Dracula, and it’s great to see him finally getting his own blockbuster film. In addition, Charles Dance delivers some of the best bits of the film as the master vampire, with a deep voice that even reminded us of Christopher Lee‘s version of Dracula. However, his last quote on screen during a very unnecessary and lengthy ending, ruins all.

On a positive note, the art direction and costume designs are great and create a moody atmosphere. There is also a good score by Game of Throne composer Ramin Djawadi.

dracula-untold-2However, the fact this “vampire film” doesn’t show much blood or gore scenes, especially while a huge blood bath vampire battle is unleashed, decreases the visual impact even more.

Thus, one of the best bits of the film is the way Dracula transforms himself into a group of bats in order to fly and fight along with an action sequence, that is way too similar to one of The Mummy’s most iconic scenes, but manages to amaze. Perhaps this film might have been visually better in 3D – unfortunately we won’t know but bats flying out of the screen would have been pretty cool!

Overall, Dracula Untold would have been a good straight to DVD film, as it has some good bits and is visually entertaining in places. However, the slow pace sucks the life out of it and the story fails to explore and use all the rich resources available in Dracula’s mythology.

Dracula Untold – In Cinemas October 2