Fright Fest 2018: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
The blood is the life….
The movie starts with a tragedy. A suicide and the damning of a soul. How can a church whom the count fights for damn the soul of the woman he loves? Feeding from the blood of God’s precious child he becomes immortal, but at what cost? He lives centuries waiting to reclaim his love which it turns out is Wilhelmina Harker. Is this a love story or a horror story? Blood and wine and evil create a story that isn’t by the book of the same name. It is in my opinion more along the lines of Anne Rice with the love story. Is this saying that the movie isn’t good? No! Not at all! This is the movie that sealed my love for gothic horror and horror in general. Sadie Frost was possibly my first horror movie crush.
I watched horror as a kid with slasher films and such but this was my first true love of a horror film. It has had a impact on most of my tastes as a teen from my love of all things dark as horror movies, books, gothic rock and gothic metal too my own writing of stories and poetry. The blood is the life. How I love the words. If I had to pick a book that basically kick started the horror genre it would be this. The movie is just another in a long stream of movies but this one has class. I feel like I am doting on this movie too much but I chose it for a reason.
Let’s talk about the acting first off Gary Oldman does a fabulous job as Vlad Dracula. He is believable and realistic which is hard when it comes to playing undead characters. Wynona Ryder is fantastic as Wilhelmina Harker playing two characters the one who dies so that Dracula becomes who he is and the one who ends him. True love knows no boundaries not even death. Sadie Frost as Lucy Mina’s best friend and the first to fall for the count though he was in wolf form. She becomes a vampire and is beheaded but her beauty grace’s the screen along with her talent. It shows how before she was turned she was a nice girl then she was a demon. Keanu Reeves did great as Jonathan Harker and in a part that is haunting he is asked towards the end by Mina “when my time comes will you do the same to me? Will you?” Responding as they go to finish the count “ no let them go, our work is finished here, hers has just begun.” It’s lines like these that are often cheesy but somehow it fits like every other part of the movie.
Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing. To be honest his character was a bit annoying. Such a brutal guy for a good guy. I think if I watched and counted I could find more bloodshed and violence contributed to him than Dracula. Just because you fight for good doesn’t make you a good guy. He was a little forgettable in his performance, almost out of sync with the rest of the characters. Still the movie is great but that doesn’t mean it isn’t over the top. It’s almost a little dramedy with the outlandish costumes and special effects it shows it is a product of it’s time, but if I had to argue and defend it, I damn sure would without question. For a love story and a vampire story it was still better than any of the sparkly vampires that are being written and filmed these days. I yearn for the times when the vampires will be bloody and violent again. Hell maybe we will see a movie from the Necroscope series, oh the possibility.
I would like to say that though remakes are the thing I hope this is never done with this movie or maybe it isn’t popular enough who knows? I like weird things. I would like to see a Facebook group for fans of the movie that would be a group I’d like to join. It feels as if I am gushing over the movie, maybe I am. Halloween is approaching scary movies are making a comeback to network and cable TV. Horror is popular again. As a genre horror is great and there are so many forms and subgenres that it can be hard to remember the classics but I do and I am happy to sit here and write a review on a great movie that has influenced me and still resonates with me especially with halloween so near when all year I yearn for nights like these when it is cooler and it gets darker earlier. The leaves are at a point of changing colors, the smell of burning leaves are in the air. Most of all the horror is better. It’s the time what will you watch?
My rating: 5 of 5
Hi. I am the poet of impossible dreams, Jason Morton. I am in various anthologies from horror to poetry and have even written a love story. Words are my sanity. I have no links of yet but that will soon change
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I always enjoyed this version of Dracula. It’s strange how Francis Ford Coppola was the one that made this movie. It doesn’t really fit into the types of films he directs. I never would have thought the guy that made The Godfather would make a horror film.
It has weird cinematography and an odd tone. But there’s something entrancing about the film. Enough where I can get past some of the terrible dialogue with Reeves. I absolutely love the scene where they find Lucy in the crypt and she spits blood all over Van Helsing.
October 4, 2018 at 3:16 pm
While not my fav among the dracula/vampire movie lineups, Coppola certainly did a bang up job. It feel like he took that “Strangest Love Story Ever Told,” which was a slogan from the original 1931 film, and ran with it.
October 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm
I tried with this one , but it never quite gelled with me. The production design is outstanding and Oldman nails it as Dracula, but by the end of the film I hadn’t felt a connection to the story. I can’t say it’s a bad film because it really isn’t, but I do believe this is a textbook example of style over substance.
Terrific write up, though!
October 5, 2018 at 10:38 am