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
(Year Released)
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)

Kristen Stewart
Robert Pattinson
Billy Burke
Peter Facinelli
Taylor Lautner

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."