Guest Review: Dracula Untold

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Right off the bat I’ll admit to you that I have never read the book. Feel free to gasp and clutch pearls here. However, I have seen nearly every vampire movie both of the drama and horror persuasion from a very inappropriately young age. Add to that my love of the Twilight Saga and The Originals and I believe you would agree that I know my stuff when it comes to vampires. As soon as I saw the trailer I was making plans to be in the theater as soon as it opened. I was at the first showing and I wasn’t disappointed.

Dracula Untold tells the emotional story of how fierce warrior, Vlad the Impaler, became the dreaded monster known to us today as Dracula. The supremely talented Luke Evans paints the father of all future vampires in vivid color. Vlad’s plight was simple yet complex at the same time. He wants to protect his family and his country from foreign invaders threatening the lives of their children.

As a monarch, a general, and a devoted husband and father whose predicament pushes him to the point of desperation, Evans’ Vlad Tempesh is walking a dangerously fine line of what passes for a great idea to save his people. I’ve heard it said that the most dangerous man is the man with nothing to lose. I disagree. The most dangerous man is the one with EVERYTHING to lose. Because when it’s all on the line he will do whatever necessary to ensure his desired outcome, however brutal. And in most cases he is victorious.

Flanked by fledgling and veteran actors alike, Sarah Gadon as Vlad’s doting and intuitive wife, Mirena; Dominic Cooper as ruthless antagonist, Mehmed; and Charles Dance as the Master Vampire, Evans does deliver a stirring performance of the man that would be Dracula. However, it is Art Parkinson as Vlad’s young son, Ingeras who shines brightest. Known for his role as Rickon Stark in the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones, this junior actor is by no means a neophyte. Seriously, watch the expressions on his face throughout the story. I know grown actors who can’t do that.

Sure, some parts of the love story between Vlad and Mirena seem hackneyed or even a little cheesy, but only because we’ve seen it portrayed in so many ways over the years. With this new twist on an old tale I’m sure you will find something, if not everything to love. There’s also plenty of eye candy. I’m looking at you, Luke! Add to the great acting sweeping special effects, kick-ass fight scenes, costumes and set designs to make any film buff smile, and the fact that Untold was shot like an epic without being over 100 minutes and voila! The perfect movie ticket!

I can’t tell you much more and not give spoilers but I will say this: pay attention from the very beginning; Vlad’s childhood story is told quickly. Also, be on the lookout- I do believe there will be a sequel… or more (wink, wink).

4.25/5 Stars
About the Author: Denise Winston is a cable television producer, a writer, and a movie critic for Vents Magazine. She is a lover of film and practically all things media. Her enjoyments also include wine, a good book, and music in abundance. Follow her on Twitter @thedivaqueen77 if you dare.

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