Review: Dracula Untold (2014)

It is getting closer to Halloween time and for some reason, Halloween always puts me in the mood for the Dracula films.  Watching the Universal film along with the Hammer Horror series, there is nothing like them.  When it comes to more modern incarnations of Dracula, they’ve made Dracula a romantic, like Frank Langella’s 1979 view of the Dracula mythology.  Of course in 1992, Francis Ford Coppola gave us a really close look at Bram Stoker’s book.  That leads us to the newest attempt at a Dracula film, 2014’s Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans.

Dracula Untold, well it is an origin film about how Dracula came to be who is and how he became the mast of darkness.  It took some elements mentioned in the original Bram Stoker story.  But there was no clear origin of how Vlad the Impaler becomes Dracula.  Of course Vlad the Impaler is a real person of history and it is said Dracula is based loosely off him.  But Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula is strictly fiction and with each version we get further away from any possible truth.  I did also noticed elements or maybe little Easter eggs from the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film.

The film follows Vlad in the Carpathian Mountains and reveals he is a prince.  When a few Turkish soldiers come missing, he demands Vlad’s son and many more Transylvanian children.  Vlad cannot do this and rebels against the Sultan.  The film then goes on to feel more like a Lord of the Rings mixed with 300 rather than your run of the mill Dracula film.  We do get to see the love story with his wife and the tragedy, the film is certainly more of an action film than it is horror.  But, it is totally different from anything we have ever seen and for me it was great.

When I was younger I watched many Dracula films and always wondered how he became Dracula and it was shown in an interesting way.  I actually thought back in Dracula 2000, he was Judas, I was one of few who thought that was cool.  But this film was was very cool, the way he got his powers and the reason he used them.  If you are a Dracula fan, I would check this out and take it for what it is.  There are some interesting elements that kind of bring the horror elements into the film, especially regarding his powers, or curse.  Charles Dance who plays Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones plays a key role in the film and he was wonderful as usual.

The film Dracula Untold is fun, nonstop action, which was great.  Other than Dracula, the bad thing was no character development, but did we not need too much.  The characters are based from history and we know a lot about Dracula from the hundreds of films that have been made.  Luke Evans is a great Dracula and I feel he could carry the role in a big way, he looks the part for sure.

3 YEAR OLD SPOILER ALERT! The end sets up a modern day Dracula film that would be based on the novel.  This does set up a sequel…that may never, probably never will happen, thanks to 2017’s the Mummy.

I do want to mention the shared Universal Monsters Universe.  I thought this was terrific news, I guess I am a sucker for shared universe’s.  But we could have modern tales of Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman and all set in the older times, bringing the films into modern times.  The one thing I would miss is the Gothic feel of the original films from the 1930s.  So if this is the beginning I welcome the shared UMU(Universal Monster Universe), lead by Luke Evans as Dracula.  But, that was ruined by Tom Cruise’s The Mummy.  Why wasn’t Dracula Untold the lead in to the Universe?  The follow-up to The Mummy is…the Bride of Frankenstein…yep, who knows what kind of shit we are in for.

Bottom line, check this film out, regardless of a shared universe.  It is a good film and only clocks in at 90+ minutes and i think it is worth it the acting is decent and the effects are cool, along with an interesting story, check it out.

IMDB.com has a rating of 6.3

I have a rating of 7.6

About Ray Marek III 262 Articles

I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor.

Freddy’s Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead.
Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you…my blood…horror.

I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.