Thursday, October 23, 2014

Movie review - Dracula Untold (PG13) - Review by Stephen Signor


Once again the silver screen has chosen to take yet another bite out of the pages of Bram Stokers Dracula. Unleashed as an origin story for the title character, the focus of Dracula Untold is however redirected away from the infamous 1897 novel. While there are similarities, this portrayal is based more on Vlad the Impaler. However that does not take away from the impact or the enjoyment of this production. And while I admit at first I was skeptical and apprehensive about seeing this film, that attitude would quickly change within the first 10 minutes. I was certainly sucked in. 
 
Dracula Untold reveals the epic of Transylvanian prince Vlad III ČšepeČ™ whose period of peace is threatened by Sultan Mehmed II, who demands 1,000 of his principality's boys, including Vlad’s own son, Ingeras, to join his army. Art Parkinson’s performance as Ingeras was equal to his part in 2011s Game of Thrones. With Luke Evans as Vlad and Sarah Gadon (Amazing Spiderman 2) as Mirena his wife, there is more than enough talent and screen experience to pull off the dramatization of life changing challenges that lay ahead.

Facing threats to his kingdom and his family Vlad makes a deal with dangerous and deadly supernatural forces, A.K.A. Charles Dance, The Master Vampire. But those powers would not come without consequences. Burdened with the willpower to avoid succumbing to the darkness that is consuming him leads to a very tumultuous journey with surprising consequences. Not so surprising would be an insatiable desire for the taste of human blood that would lead him to embrace his destiny as the legendary vampire, Dracula. 

Do not be fooled by the fact writers Matt Sazama and Burke Sharples have only one previous movie under their belts, nor the fact that this is the feature film debut for Director Gary Shore. From the beginning to the end the plot develops with accuracy and thickens with time, during which the characters are also brought to life. The timing of cinematography coupled with the insertion of sudden explosions of the soundtrack and special effects produce a striking visual that captures each critical moment. And they are plentiful. Count on it!