Vlad the Impaler like he’s never been seen before. This movie goes beyond the usual on-screen Dracula, to the heart of the man who became a monster.
The Dracula story is not a new one. Movies have been made about him since almost the beginning of Hollywood. Each one has been unique, and has shown audiences many different sides of this character. But there have been no films like this. You get to see sides of Dracula’s story that is intriguing, and give viewers an understanding about his past. This film not only has some truth in history, but it does an amazing job of showing what his life was like before he became a monster. It is a must see for all fantasy film fans.
The film begins with a small back story of a man named Vlad, who as a boy was forced into the life of a ruthless soldier. He became a special one, who loved to kill people and put their bodies on display with stakes. This earned him a special name that I am sure history buffs will be familiar with, Vlad the Impaler. One day he was able to escape this life and became prince of Transylvania, which is a place that most Dracula films have taken place. His land is different, it is not dark, scary and frightening. It is a land that is full of lush vegetation, many bright colors and it looks like a perfect little slice of heaven. Vlad has a wife, a son and many close friends. He is a beloved ruler, and one who is firm but not cruel.
The Sultan of Turkey requires a tribute to stay away from this land, and one day when his soldiers come for it, they say it is not enough. The Sultan wants 1,000 boys to use and train for his new army, and Vlad’s son happens to be one of those boys. This is very distressing to him. He wants to do whatever he can to protect his son, and he knows that is not the life he wants for him. The harsh truth though is that his men are not going to be enough to stop this from happening. If he refuses this request, it will be seen as an act of war. He doesn’t want to give up his son, but he also has no desire to send his men to a war where the odds are against them and the chances of survival are slim to none. What will he do to protect his son and his people? Why is the Sultan so eager to get this new kind of tribute? Is there any power out there that help him achieve these goals?
Luke Evans is wonderful as Vlad/Dracula. He shows the complex sides of this character. In this film, you get to see him play a father and fair ruler, and Evans does this with no difficulty at all. It is apparent that their is more to Dracula than I knew, and I am glad he was the one to show me this truth. The size of his heart and his determination are what make this film worth seeing. Sarah Gadon is very good as Mirena, the wife of Vlad. She is someone who will love him no matter what. Her courage is inspiring, and her loyalty is powerful. She never leaves his side, and truly trusts everything he does. It is refreshing to see a female character like this, so rare in Hollywood films lately. Charles Dance is amazing in this movie. I will not say who he plays, but he does it very well. His character is very important to this movie, and there is more to him than it seems. He is a kind of mentor to Dracula, but also can be cruel and truthful to a harsh degree, which makes him someone who is easy to hate.
This film did well in theaters last weekend. It got the #2 spot and made $23.5 million, a pretty good opening for a horror movie. Audiences gave this film praise, but critics were sadly not as kind to it.
If you are a fan of Dracula films, this is a film you need to go see. If you want to go see a good horror movie this Halloween season, look no further. The plot is very clever, and the special effects are very well done. Go see this film with your friends, or with a date. You will be glad that you did.