Dracula Untold is the story of Dracula that did not need to be told. In early October, my wife won free tickets to an early screening of Dracula Untold, but I still want my money and time back.

It’s a struggle to find anything worthwhile about this movie.

The best film comparison to Dracula Untold has to be Hannibal Rising. I know the character has had too many iterations to keep track of, but fabricating a backstory in a historical setting is just an ill-fated attempt to ground the unreal in reality. I don’t need to humanize Dracula and understand his intentions.

Dracula Untold is the story of Vlad the Impaler single-handedly destroying the Turks because he makes a deal with the devil…well, Dracula. This is not a story that needed to be told. Instead of Dracula serving as the main villain in the movie, that arc is more of the side story with the Turks acting as the antagonist.

In case you were wondering, this different approach doesn’t add anything.

Luke Evans does a decent job as a reserved Vlad before breaking free as Dracula. I’ve never seen Luke Evans before in any another movie, but then again I’m not exactly a big fan of movies like The Three Musketeers, Immortals, The Raven, or Fast & Furious 6. From my perspective, the best thing Luke Evans has going for his career is that he so closely resembles Dominic West—James McNulty from The Wire.

Imagining McNulty as a drunken Dracula was the most entertainment I mined from this movie.

Charles Dance

Speaking of iconic TV characters, Tywin Lannister apparently didn’t die on Game of Thrones, he just became Dracula. While makeup obscures his face for the most part, I immediately recognized Charles Dance’s deep gravelly voice. It’s unfortunate nothing more was done with Dance as he’s largely relegated to voice work.

Dracula Untold is much more in the vein of Van Helsing, which isn’t exactly a compliment. However, at least this version of Dracula isn’t quite so gay and doesn’t require a werewolf to kill him. But this version of Dracula is a reluctant killer with incredible remorse for being forced into defending his family.

Who knew Dracula was such a sentimental family man?

In a nutshell, Dracula Untold is an origin story that’s not very original.


1 out of 5 stars


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