Film review: Dracula Untold (4 out of 5)

Dracula Untold
Dracula Untold

Over the years I must have seen dozens of vampire movies, many of them involving Bram Stoker’s creation Dracula.

So would Dracula Untold bring something new to the party?

Well actually yes.

As the title suggests, this is how the sharp-toothed one started off.

It is around the 15th century and we learn that a young Transylvanian was handed over to the Turks, the dominant people of the time.

He is taught how to kill and grows up to become Vlad the Impaler and having made his mark returns home to lead his people.

Married and with a couple of kids, Vlad’s told to hand over his people’s young men (including his own son) to become soldiers in the Turkish army.

So he is faced with a dilemma. How to beat a massive army.

Well, luckily he has already met a vampire in a cave and asks for help.

His decision, though, leads him on a path to become the legend we all know.

Luke Evans plays Vlad and is remarkably convincing in the role, faced with having to live with the consequences of his actions.

His nemesis is Mehmed, the Turkish leader, played by Dominic Cooper who has proved in the past that he is a good villain (The Devil’s Double).

Charles Dance is the original Master Vampire, sporting some amazing prosthetics and full of evil.

In fact the special effects overall are pretty good as the battles take place with swords, pikes and even bats galore.

Debut director Gary Shore keeps the pace ticking along nicely and creates a good atmosphere with lighting and dramatic landscapes.

There are some nice takes on old favourite vampire problems, such as silver and not walking around in the daylight.

And without giving anything away, the end is not quite what I was expecting but fits in well.

The 15 certificate is about right as there’s plenty of neck chomping and impaling going on.

If you like your vampire movies, then give this a whirl, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Film details: Dracula Untold (15) 92mins

Director: Gary Shore

Starring: Luke Evans, Charles Dance, Dominic Cooper

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol