This version of Dracula is closely based on Bram Stoker's classic novel of the same name. A young lawyer (Jonathan Harker) is assigned to a gloomy village in the mists of eastern Europe. He is captured and imprisoned by the undead vampire Dracula, who travels to London, inspired by a photograph of Harker's betrothed, Mina Murray. In Britain, Dracula begins a reign of seduction and terror, draining the life from Mina's closest friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy's friends gather together to try to drive Dracula away. Written by
Interesting and Mostly Accurate Take on the Horror Classic.
"Bram Stoker's Dracula" is one of those films that reeled people in by making its audience believe that it would be an intense horror film on par with productions like "Rosemary's Baby" or "The Exorcist". Instead, director Francis Ford Coppola stayed more true to Stoker's novel and put a focus on an intense love story that transcends time, the elements and even life and death. This naturally turned off many horror enthusiasts who would rather see a film that thrives on shock value rather than a movie that thrives on heart, brains and emotion. The film is naturally about the titled character, an immortal man (played superbly by the nearly always exceptional Gary Oldman) who has turned against God and now lives through the powers of darkness. By the late-19th Century, the titled character is trying to lure back a reincarnation of his one true love (Winona Ryder) and of course attempting to eliminate all those that might stand in his way (Ryder's fiance Keanu Reeves and professor Anthony Hopkins most notably). Overall "Dracula" is an amazingly good looking film that benefits from high production values and guaranteed performances (mainly from Oldman and Hopkins). Coppola's direction is strong, but a bit overbearing at times and sometimes it is unclear what the tone of the production truly is. Watch for Italian beauty Monica Bellucci as one of Oldman's beautiful, but deadly wives. 4 stars out of 5.
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