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Horror - Brahm Stoker's Dracula

Buy Brahm Stoker's Dracula
Gary Oldman, Wynona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
130 minutes
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

This version of Dracula is closely based on Bram Stoker's classic novel of the same name. A young lawyer (Keanu Reeves) is sent to Karpathia to settle some business with Count Dracula (Gary Oldman). As soon as he arrives, he realizes that he will spend more time than he had planned in the Count’s old castle. Meanwhile, the Count travels to England to “conquer” his long lost love Mina (Wynona Ryder). Bram Stoker’s Dracula also stars Anthony Hopkins, a weird scientist for his time, who will also prove to be helpful and ahead of his time.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula should not necessarily be interpreted as horror, but rather as the story of Count Vlad Dracula who lived in the 15th century. Rooted in the myth of vampires, the movie tells a sad and romantic story of a man who lost his wife while he was at war and is unable to love for 400 years. Unfortunately, sometimes the movie feels like it is 400 years long. The story unfolds very slowly and often does not offer any details that are essential to the plot, for example how the Count courts Mina on numerous occasions, or how Lucy (Sadie Frosted) is courted by three suitors for her hand in marriage. Furthermore, some elements are omitted and would have made the movie even more interesting. For example, how Professor Van Helsing prepares to do battle with the Count, or how the Count terrorizes the streets of London. Despite the obvious epic-type elements the story provides, they are not always developed to their full potential.

Of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula should not be discredited on that point itself. It offers other elements that make it an overall good movie. The setting, special effects, and actors, to name a few, are good examples. Late 19th century Europe is well represented and immerses the viewer in a believable and realistic environment. The special effects are simple (given the time the movie was made) but have the power to frighten, for example when the Count hovers in the room to meet Jonathan. Finally, the actors, who have all had great careers since the movie came out in 1992 contribute to this success.

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