Dracula Untold  (2014)

dracula untold
Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama (screenplay)
Starring: Luke Evans, Charles Dance, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon. USA.  1h 32m.

There has been a massive side step from the traditional Dracula story into an historical retelling of the Vlad story. This often becomes a massive tapestry of middle European history involving Turks, massive wars and political strategies, from a dynasty long forgotten. Despite this being the making of lavish movies it rarely brings an element of horror until Dracula unbound. While these other movies that are primarily B movies, lack the ability to branch out financially on special effects but nevertheless tell an interesting story Dracula untold director Gary Shore had millions his trousers for his debut movie that fail to make anything entertaining instead we end up with a Disney Style romantic drama presented viper Castlevania game advert and I’m not quite sure which one is worse.

The story is incredibly basic and drawn out for the special effects(s). Vlad (Luke Evans)is having trouble with some relentless Turks, and struggling to protect his “clan”, while chasing a few into the mountains he encounters a supernatural being who destroys them and fades into darkness, Vlad narrowly escaping with his life. Shit kicks off, Vlad Jr is threatened and a scheme is hatched to get help from beginning beastie to defeat the ottoman empire. Vlad becomes a vampire under the condition that if he abstains from human blood he’ll not remain a vampire. Them film starts to God Mode here, morphing in various Castlevania cut sequences in between Vlad trying not to be outed as a vampire by a priest (Denis penis) until the big showdown the movie has been leading to since the first scene.

The film just ambles on to a predicted ending using the same effects again and again until a  big show down that turns out to be neither intelligent of impressive. Although I did feel that Dominic was the poor version of Oscar Isaac.. I’m digressing..  It’s just very poor, Evans is a good actor but has no Vampish on screen presence, which isn’t really essential as he spends the whole movie trying NOT to be a vampire but a change in behaviour would have been a bonus and I was left wondering why the film is called Dracula untold is beyond me when it plays with all the rules of a VLAD movie. He isn’t Dracula!? Dominic is great at the aggressive leader of the Ottoman/Turks and Charles Dance is absolutely perfect playing the role of the dark and powerful uber vampire, enhanced with some slight CGI to really enforce the dominance of his character. The film starts off fairly promising, then tries to edge into history but it’s a fantasy and doesn’t straddle both side of the reality fence too well. The battle scenes are basically Vlad Bat Attack vs Everyone and while there is an impressive kill count (apparently 2400+) it’s just boring.. really boring.

As a beginnings step into bringing back the universal monster movie characters, Dracula is defiantly full of fails, while some scenes look darkly impressive the substance in between them just isn’t enough to really grab at the imagination.  The ending is a bit confusing, but eventually there is a final segment that promises more delights to come in part two, I just hope they get it right next time, it should be better as it looks to promise more from Mr Dance.

Rating 3/10

Related Vlad (2003), Vlad Tepes (1979)
Lists – Selected Vampire Movies, Vlad Flicks,
Spotlight – Luke Evans, Charles Dance, Dominic Cooper


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