Movie Review: Dracula: The Untold Story

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars

Bottom Line: Classic horror story turned to drivel.  Some kind of cool special effects that don’t make any sense whatsoever.  There are the threads of a good story here, but they apparently forgot to hire a writer to write the story.

The idea of Dracula is burned into the global consciousness.  One book about one undead man has spawned multiple franchises which each garners millions of fans.  There’s something about Dracula that speaks to generations.  Then there’s this movie which speaks to no one.  Promising to tell us “the untold story”, this movie lets us in on how Vlad became Dracula.  And, boy, does it not make a lick of sense.

It starts out pretty well with your basic Vlad the Impaler story but with a catch that Vlad is actually a decent sort that had to do terrible things in times of war.  Believable enough.  It then goes on to show that he’s a just and fair ruler in his realm just trying to protect his people from the 800 pound gorilla, the Persians.  Again, ok, I’m on board.  So instead of paying a dear price of thousands of children, including his son, to the Persians, he kills the emissaries that come to collect his son.  A little 300-ish, but understandable, family and all.  Now at war with an army he has zero chance of defeating, he decides to become a vampire so he can…something.  *record scratching noise* The movie is now off the rails.

The vampire that turns Vlad is condemned to live his entire un-life in a cave that Vlad happened to come across while tracking some Persian scouts.  He cannot leave the cave.  Yet the floor of the cave is littered with bones.  How does that work exactly?  All Vlad knows for sure about the vampire is that he is pretty fast and can kill a couple of humans pretty easily.  Knowing only this, Vlad decides he wants the vampire’s powers so he can defeat the Persians.  The vampire explains that Vlad can have his powers for three days and if Vlad can refrain from drinking human blood in those three days he will simply return back to normal.  If Vlad does drink, the vampire goes free and Vlad becomes his slave or something.  I’m a little unclear about the last part.

Vlad, of course, takes the offer and then proceeds to slaughter 1,000 Persians single-handedly.  A silly, but kind of cool fight.  He then does nothing for two days despite knowing that a very large Persian army is on its way to crush him.  Wait, what now?  You have three days and you go on the defensive?  Brilliant strategy, general.  So there’s a final battle, lots of bats, a whole bunch of WTF moments, and Vlad ends up drinking the blood of his dying wife to save his son.  Ugh.

This is the kind of movie that thinks its audience is stupid.  It expects us to gloss over the massive inconsistencies and use of the most exploitable awe-factor special effects and come to the conclusion that this was a good movie.  Wow, I just realized something…this was just like a Michael Bay film.