Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Dracula Untold’ Review: Starring Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon & Charles Dance

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s utterly impossible for me to miss a vampire movie, especially one that is a Dracula origins story. Dracula Untold isn’t as memorable or original as it wants to be, but it’s pure popcorn fun and brutally violent to the core. Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon lead this gothic action thriller and are wonderful together as husband and wife.

When Prince Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) is threatened by Turkish leader Mehmed (Dominic Cooper), he turns to evil forces in order to save his family and people. Knowing he doesn’t have the army or numbers to defeat Mehmed, Vlad seeks help from a mysterious vampire (Charles Dance) in order to gain power and strength. When Vlad drinks from the master vampire, his senses heighten, he gains exquisite healing power and has the strength of a hundred men. He can also turn into bats, which is pretty cool too.

dracula untold movie

In a very hard PG-13 rating, director Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold contains brutal violence and several scary images throughout. With gory scenes, sword fights and too many bloodsucking scenes to count, the film has the tone of an R rated horror movie. The film is opening in both IMAX and regular theater screens and although there are only a couple of scenes that look good on a bigger screen the overall film is too dark and gloomy to waste the few extra bucks for an IMAX screen.

Luke Evans is ideal as the new vampire Dracula, named after the castle in which he lives. Between his handsome good looks and those stoic facial expressions that we saw in 2013’s Fast & Furious 6, Evans is great as this iconic character. Sarah Gadon is perfect as Mirena, Vlad’s strong and caring wife. In movies like this the female characters tend to be wasted, but Gadon serves as a driving force for Evans and plays both a loving wife and adorning mother. Not to mention the Enemy actress just looks absolutely exquisite on screen. Her fair skin, blonde hair and light eyes are captured beautifully here.

dracula untold sara gadon

Charles Dance brings an interesting and particularly frightening look on the modern vampire. No, he’s not sparkling, he’s not in love with a vampire slayer and he doesn’t wear a magical ring that allows him to walk around in the daylight. Screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless stay true to Stoker’s menacing and eerie look of a vampire and Dance brings a serpent like quality to the character.

It may not be the best vampire film ever made, but it’s certainly one of the most fun to come out in recent years. Dracula Untold will delight fans of Bram Stoker’s famous novel and please audiences who are looking for a thrilling film this October.

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