Dracula review

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Dracula
Released 14th February 1931
Certificate PG
Director Tod Browning
Cast Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Edward Van Sloan, Herbert Bunston, Frances Dade.
Screenwriter Hamilton Deane
Running time 75 minutes
Plot Dracula takes you on an incredible journey into the hugely formidable Castle Dracula in the bleak and misty Carpathian Mountains. It rapidly reveals the story of young, ambitious Renfield (Dwight Frye) and his terrifying ordeal with the vampiric Count.
Review
A bloody mistake or a fangtastic surprise? Although there have been countless adaptations and “goes” at Bram Stokers chilling novel, most of them rubbish, here you truly know that you are in for a treat as the Count (Lugosi) strides effortlessly through the terrifying wall of cobwebs and up onto the stairs leaving no trace behind him. So it definitely does not surprise us to learn how this awe inspiring, memorable movie became a cult classic almost straight away.
With his sweeping wide angle views of Dracula’s enchanting fortress and the sinister music reverberating from its ancient walls, Tod Browning has done it again! With both “London After Midnight” and now “Dracula” under his belt, it is safe to say that he is certainly a very accomplished director. Browning has taken a great story and turned it into something extraordinary, sticking to the original plot in places and of course throwing in some extra bites and frights!
At the start, locals from the closest village warn Frye not to go to the castle. But does he listen? Well what do you think? Instead they give him a tiny crucifix necklace and send him on his way. Suddenly Frye’s dark adventures see him stranded














with the scare-you-witless Count and his enigmatically beautiful wives, and how forgetful of us, he becomes a vampire.
Dracula takes Renfield back to London and soon stirs things up, the ending involving a large underground cavern, a long wooden stake and obviously... a girl.
Lugosi steals the show again, playing the terrifying Count. With the aid of the clever camera work including nail biting close ups, Lugosi shows us once more what he is really capable of. But of course we have to ask ourselves, is he only able to play one stock character? We mean Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in 1920 and Prisoners in 1929. How different are these characters really to the cunning Count?
With Lugosi in his element and Browning in the driving seat, Dracula was set to become one of the best horror films ever made, right from the word go. However it would never have been the same without the eerie scene near the start which portrays Dracula and his wives waking and getting ready for the “graveyard shift” and how can we forget the cute little weasel? That is until we noticed that it is in fact feasting on the bones of some of Dracula’s previous victims. Or the classic moment inside Renfield’s carriage, which would have been acceptable by itself, set in the dead of night, with the long howls of wolves nearby? But no, Browning had to take it one step further and include the inevitable fact that the carriage is being driven by a bat. Yes that’s right, a bat.
Verdict.
Dracula is still an all time favourite and model for any new “wannabe” horror film. It has certainly stood the test of time and even now is as electrifying and horrifying as it was 78 years ago when it first hit the big screen. It cannot be given enough praise and is without a shadow of a doubt, worthy of all 5 stars!








Reviewer: Joseph Blayney





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TMars said...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 11:27 am
Have to agree with ya Joe :P
 
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