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
In the scene where the count serves Jonathan Harker dinner after his arrival at the castle, the count mentions his ancestors were members of the Order of the Dracul. There was an actual Order of the Dracul (Dracul=dragon), an order of chivalry fighting against the Ottomans in the Balkans in the 1400s. Vlad Tepes, who the character of Dracula is loosely based on, was known as "Draculea", which means "son of the Dragon", as his father was a member of this order. See more »
In the goodbye scene between Mina and Lucy, when Mina's about to leave, she moves a vase with garlic flowers on the bedside table closer to Lucy's bed. The camera switches to a detail showing Mina's hand accidentally tumbling down a hanged wreath of garlic cloves, which wasn't there before, and the wreath falls on the bedside table. When the camera switches back to a larger shot of the room and Lucy smashing down the vase with flowers, the wreath of garlic cloves again mysteriously disappears from the bedside table. See more »
There, in the presence of God, I understood at last how love could release us all from the power of darkness. Our love is stronger than death.
Give me peace.
[impales him with the sword, then kisses him, then beheads him]
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As is the case with many of these latter-day horror movies, this is visually stunning. This one is particularly so, with beautiful colors, wild special effects, lavish sets and a handful of pretty women, led by Winona Ryder.
It isn't all beauty; there are some horrific, bloody moments in here. I've seen the film three times and the first two times was terrifying to me in parts. The last viewing wasn't as scary, but maybe I was distracted by seeing this on DVD for the first time, which enhanced the visuals and added some nice 5.1surround sound.
At two hours and 10 minutes, it's a bit long but there are very few lulls, if any. Gary Oldham gives his normal intense performance as Dracula and it never hurts to have Anthony Hopkins in the film.
The only negative I found was Keannu Reeves, who sounds a bit wooden in his lines. Is it my imagination, or is he a terrible actor? Maybe it's just his voice. Nonetheless, Cary Elwes, Richard Grant, Sadie Frost and Bill Campbell all give good support to this film which is a real feast for the senses.
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