Dracula is the classic story of the undead who stalk the streets and prey on the innocent. This version of the story stars Gary Oldman as Dracula, the Transylvanian Prince who becomes a bloodthirsty immortal.
The original Bram Stokers story tells the tale of a Romanian Prince who turns his back on the church and becomes immortal in 1462. The death of his true love, Elisabetha, turns him into a monster and he damns himself to walk the earth as a vampire. In 1897, a young lawyer travels to the Count’s castle to help him with his property he acquired in London. Once the lawyer, Jonathan Harker, arrives at the castle he becomes the latest prey. Dracula thinks that Jonathan’s fiance, Mina, is Elisabetha reincarnated. Fuelled by his desire to find his true love, Dracula travels to London to find her. Death, blood and misery follow the Count as he leaves a trail of destruction across the globe.
Thoughts on the Story
This is not to be confused with the fluffy vampire stories of recent years. Dracula is a dangerous killer who only cares about his long lost love. He can take many forms and is not just a pretty face. This is the original version of the story and has a foot in science. Van Helsing, the vampire killer, is a scientist at heart and tries to cure the victims before he must kill them. The science that is in the story is accurate for the time, and it is truly bloody and barbaric. This movie is based on the classic Bram Stoker novel. I have read the book and this movie is pretty close to the novel.
Vampire stories have become soft in the last few years. This story is no Twilight. Gary Oldman (Dracula) and Anthony Hopkins (Van Helsing) give powerful performances but run rings around the rest of the cast. Keanu Reeves (Jonathan Harker) and Winona Ryder (Mina) both struggle in this film. I’m not saying that they are bad actors, but put beside Gary Oldman, they struggle. Overall, this is a great movie that reminds us why Dracula (and vampires) are so damn scary. This might not be your first choice for a horror movie, but there is nothing scary than a man with a broken heart.