Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Dracula Untold (2014)

I watched Dracula Untold on a pirated DVD and don’t regret it one bit.

Vlad Tepes makes a Faustian deal to save his family and his people from the Turks, becoming the legendary El Jefe of vampires – Dracula.

Dracula Untold looked interesting as it attempts a Nolanesque remake to a horror movie icon.

The static 3D opening and infrared vision is nifty. The production design and landscape is effective in placing you in Gothic Transylvania, where Prince Vlad Tepes does his best to preserve peace in his land while the Turks remain an ever present threat.

However, the film fails to make any of its ideas compelling enough as it steadfastly clings to a PG 13 rating and takes itself too seriously.

The seductive and sensual creature of the night is now a family man turned noble martyr. This new image and attempt at a character study is completely dull.

Luke Evans is decent but his character is subjected to horror movie and blockbuster tropes. Worse, Dracula’s origins is really just a subplot to a narrative revolving around the Prince and his shaky truce with the Sultan.

The rest of the cast are underused and stereotyped – the evil thing in the craggy cave (cursed, of course), the exotic enemy (complete with a douchebag loyalist, the sadistic henchman, and a horde of indoctrinated army), the beautiful wife (guess what happens her) and the worried heir to the throne (Prince Rickon lost his way too far I guess). It’s much worse for Vlad’s loyal captains, who are indistinguishable props save for the color of their beards.

The action scenes revolve around Dracula’s ability to transform into bats, which are indistinguishable masses of dirt particles in the sky that swoops down to bloodless frenetically shot battles. The film wants to convince you that hey, this totes happened in history with magical bats! The Sultan’s army is no threat at all.

You can’t really expect much profundity from blockbuster films, but this reboot makes no effort in stirring up its potboiler narrative. You get no blood, too little too late fangoria, badly executed action scenes, humorless tropes, forgettable characters and B-movie CGI.

It’s neither entertaining, scary, and emotionally engaging. It’s not even a horror film but rather a Game of Thrones derivative with a vampire.

Dracula Untold is an uninspired attempt for a franchise that should have remained untold.

My Rating: 3/10

Alternative Movie Poster by 4gottenlore

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