Review: Dracula Untold

The revamped tale of the classic evil creature, Dracula Untold attempts to set itself apart from the other films of the iconic creature by delving into his origins, showing his journey from a man into the monster we all know and love today.

The story begins with a narrated intro explaining the horrific young years of Vlad the Impaler, who was forced to fight along with 999 other boys from Transylvania for the Turkish Empire at a young age. Vlad has since settled back in Transylvania to rule over the lands as a prince and live out his days in peace. However, when the Turkish Sultan demands 1000 new boys from Transylvania for his wars, including his own son, Vlad takes drastic measures to ensure the safety of his people, beginning his path into becoming Dracula, a scourge on mankind.

Worries of this being a poor attempt to revitalise a classic were quashed early. The plot is well paced and developed, which is surprising given the fact this is a pretty short film. The action scenes are very well done, clearly showing the immense power that the vampires in this film have. The acting is very good, with the main character being shown as both believable and relatable. Charles Dance is the icing on the cake in this film, bringing a real touch of horror into the film with his superb performance as the Master Vampire who gives Dracula his powers.

The details and design in the film also deserve a mention, as Castle Dracula was stunning visually, both in its exterior and interior. The armour and weaponry of the Turkish army, though not accurate historically in some cases, are very imposing and well designed, showing the care and attention to detail that went into this film.

Still, there are issues with the film. While it’s understandable that the Turkish Empire had to be portrayed as evil to make them a good threat, there are times when this is pushed a bit too much, making the soldiers seem one dimensionally evil, and less believable.

However, these are minor issues, and overall the film holds up pretty well. It’s well acted, has a good story, contains great action, and is less than 90 minutes long. What we have here is a good, short action film that manages to mix a well fleshed story with horrific scenes of vampire violence. Recommended for those who like their vampires with unstoppable power, and who are tired of the sparkle chested twilight vampires to which we’ve all become so accustomed.

Leigh McGowran

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