The true untold story of Dracula is probably more exciting.
Film Review © 2014 by Trip Reynolds
Gothic Horror Drama/Action/Fantasy.
Directed by Gary Shore. Screenplay by Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, and based on work by Bram Stoker. Produced by Michael De Luca. Executive produced by Joseph M. Caracciolo, Jr., Jon Jashni, Alissa Phillips, and Thomas Tull.
Starring: Luke Evans (as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, Count Dracula), Sarah Gadon (as Mirena, wife of Dracula), Dominic Cooper (as the evil Turkish King, Mehmed), Art Parkinson (as Ingeras), Charles Dance (as the original Master Vampire, who made Dracula into a vampire), Diarmaid Murtagh (as Dumitru), Paul Kaye (as Brother Lucian), William Houston (as Cazan), Noah Huntley (as Captain Petru), Ronan Vibert (as Simion), and a host of others.
Will we ever get enough vampires? No. Should we? No. However, given the wonders of cinema technology, let's hope film scripts and acting rise to the level of the special effects. This time out, the mythos surrounding Dracula goes back, way back to the character's orgin before he acquired his vampiric powers, as Prince Vlad III, an actual historical person known as Vlad the Impaler, (1431–1476/77), a member of the House of Draculesti, a branch of the House of Basarab, who ruled mainly from 1456 to 1462, which began and continued during the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. Vlad's father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe (Source: Wikipedia). Enough history, let's get back to the film.
Anyone familiar with contemporary cinema, both television and film, should be aware of the extreme popularity of vampires. Arguably, here's just a partial list of some of the better motion pictures and television entries in the genré:
Vampire Genré Film
Actor Dracula (1931) Bela Lugosi Dracula's Daughter (1936) Gloria Holden House of Frankenstein (1944) John Carradine House of Dracula (1945) John Carradine Dracula (1960, a.k.a., Horror of Dracula) Christopher Lee Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) Christopher Lee Count Yorga, Vampire (1970), The Return of Count Yorga (1971) Robert Quarry Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973) Jack Palance Dracula (1979) Frank Langella Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Gary Oldman The Lost Boys (1987), Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008); Lost Boys: The Thirst (2010) Corey Feldman, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland Underworld (2003), Underworld: Evolution (2006), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), Underworld: Awakening (2012) Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy Blade (1998), Blade II (2002), Blade: Trinity (2004) Wesley Snipes Twilight (2008), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 1 - 2011), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2 - 2012)
Television Actor Dark Shadows (1966–1971) Jonathan Frid Forever Knight (1992–1996) Geraint Wyn Davies Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003) Sarah Michelle Gellar Angel (1999–2004) David Boreanaz True Blood (2008–2014) Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer
Being Human (U.S. version 2011–2014), Being Human (UK version 2008–2013)
Sam Witwer (Vampire for the US version)
Guy Flanagan and Aidan Turner (Vampires for the UK version)
The Vampire Diaries (2009–Present) Paul Wesley The Originals (2013-Present) Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Charles Michael Davis
Simply put, the kingdom of Prince Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. "Dracula" played by Luke Evans) is outnumbered by and once again threatened by the Turks. To save his kingdom, his wife and son, Vlad seeks help from a legendary demon (nicely and eerily played by Charles Dance) rumored to have powers that would enable him to defeat the Turks. With his new found powers (i.e., special effects), Dracula defeats the Turks via pseudo-epic battles, and then film transitions to modern times to setup the sequel.
Although the overall tone of this film is dark, brooding, and only kinda creepy, due to the PG-13 rating, the action in this film is more reiminist of "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" than something akin to the realistic graphic violence of "Fury (2014)" or the cinematic kill-the-zombie-fantasy-violence of the "Resident Evil (2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016)" film franchise.
Luke Evans is excellent as Dracula, easily the best since Frank Langella and Jack Palance. Evans is very believeable, especially with regard to his love for his wife, Mirena, also nicely played by Sarah Gadon.
Film is genré specific, but unlike the "Twilight" films where vampires walk around in daylight, "Dracula Untold" is faithful to the vampire mythos, but without being boring. Direction by Gary Shore is very solid with sharp editing by Richard Pearson.
Recommendation: See this film! However, if you want a more entertaining and thought provoking vampire story, read the classic Marvel Comic Book, "The Tomb of Dracula."