There are not many characters as well represented in the history of film as Dracula. And with all these incarnations comes a variety of explanations of his origins, his purpose, and his legacy. He has been the subject of comedy, gothic horror, Blaxploitation, romance, modern horror, and even animation. The latest film to tackle the Count is Dracula Untold.
In the middle ages, Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) enjoys peace in his country thanks to years of warring. But when the Turks show up and demand a thousand boys from Transylvania to build a massive army, Vlad finds himself outmanned and without much of a choice facing the massive Turk forces. In order to save his people and his family, he seeks out a mythical being living in a cave that can grant him great power; power enough to give his country a chance to survive, but at what personal cost to Vlad?
Dracula Untold was to be Universal Studios relaunch of their legendary Monsters series of films, but it seems they have shifted their goals based on the mediocre success of this film. And while Dracula Untold is a good film, I can see why it is a tough sell as the flagship to the relaunch. There is very little horror about Dracula Untold. This is more of a gothic Gladiator than the Dracula of yesteryear.
But as a film, it does work and quite well. The cast led by Luke Evans are all very good, especially Charles Dance as the ancient vampire in the cave. The production design is excellent, the film is lush to look at and the battle sequences are quite memorable, with special kudos going to the scenes of Evans in full vampire mode taking on soldiers galore. It is hard to take this as a film about the classic Dracula character but as an action adventure set piece, Dracula Untold is a fun ride. The Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is beautiful with a rich color palette, crystal clear picture and a nice active surround track. Dracula Untold is not your father’s Dracula but it is well done and plenty of fun. Recommended.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.