Thursday, 9 October 2014

Dracula Untold (5 Stars)

This film is intended to be a reboot of Universal Pictures' Dracula franchise, and if it's successful a reboot of all of their classic monsters. They've taken their time. The first Universal Pictures Dracula film was made in 1931, a retelling of Bram Stoker's novel, and their last Dracula film was made in 1945. It was the British studio Hammer that continued with Count Dracula as a character from 1958 to 1974.

The trailer for "Dracula Untold" looked spectacular, raising my hopes for this film. Earlier today I heard from a friend that there have been mixed reviews, but I resisted the temptation to check out the reviews for myself. I walked into the cinema with an open mind, and what I saw was utterly amazing. None of the cast were familiar to me, although the lead character, Luke Evans, has supposedly played minor roles in films I've already seen.

Rather than repeat Bram Stoker's story yet again, the film goes back to the early 15th Century to tell the story of Count Dracula's origin, ably interweaving verifiable historical facts with fantasy. We see Prince Vlad III of Wallachia rebelling against the Turkish empire, calling upon the powers of darkness to assist him in the struggle.

Despite the relatively short running time of 92 minutes, the film makes the impression of being an epic. The battle scenes are breath-taking, and we can feel genuine pity for Vlad as he fights to use the powers of darkness without being controlled by them. This film is a masterpiece. I can't wait to see where the sequel will take us.

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