For as long as there have been monsters, Dracula has been the Prince of them all. A horror movie fan favorite, dating back to the early days of the silver screen. Transylvania’s infamous Count and his Children of the night, have captivated and terrorized audiences around the world. But what of the man who became Dracula, Vlad the impaler? Vlad’s story is often overshadowed by the undead creature of the night he was cursed to become.
Dracula Untold brings that much less spoken story of Vlad’s transformation into Count Dracula to the forefront
Directed by first time feature director Gary Shore previously known for his Gatoraide Thirst Quencher commercials. Gary has crafted a story that really is better than it should by all accounts be. Infact I was surprised by just how drawn into Vlad’s story I was, Gary did a great job directing his performers in his big screen debut.
There have been countless actors to take on the role of Vlad/Dracula over the years from Bella Lugosi,Christopher Lee,Gary Oldman,Frank Langella, and leslie Nielson. with some pretty big shoes to fill Luke Evans does a pretty good job of bringing Dracula back to life for the 21st century. Luke’s performance actually makes you route for Vlad/Dracula and you feel bad for this curse that he has brought about for himself not for vanity or immortality but for the love of his family.
As excellent as Luke is as Vlad though, the real stand out for me is Charles Dance as the original master vampire. He has so much fun chewing up the scenery and every moment he is onscreen is better than the last.
Now much has been reported on the last minute decision to have the film line up more with the future universal monster universe that’s on its way with The Mummy remake in a few years. personally I found the last minute additon of a time jump to modern day unnecessary but totally get why it was done. But unfortunately it kind of takes the wind out of the excitement and suspense that the audience has just been on for the last 2 hours. But even with the time jump Dracula still is a fun and engaging film.
Video and Audio The Bluray release of Dracula untold does a great job of preserving the cinematic experience. With a beautiful transfer of the films 2.39:1 Original Aspect Ratio One thing about Universal is that when it comes to transfers of their new releases, they seldom if ever disappoint. Audio wise Dracula Untold features A crisp and action filled 5.1 DTS HD audio track that will really give your sound system a work out and does a faithful recreation of how Dracula was heard in theatres.
Feature Length Audio Commentary with Director Gary Shore and Production designer Francois Audouy
A nicely paced and engaging commentary that does a fine job of giving the audience the finer points of the creation on this modern day take on Dracula
Luke Evans: Creating a Legend This 20 minute featurette features Actor Luke Evans talking about his work in creating a Dracula for the audiences of today
Alternate Opening (2 mins) This alternate opening sequence with Vlad and Mirena in The Garden. Shore provides commentary for the scene, and its quite obvious why they went a different direction for the start of the film Deleted Scenes (13 minutes) These scenes presented in HD provide into the storyline of Dracula. The most intriguing one being Vlad and Mirena Blood Lust.
Dracula Retold (7 minutes)Brief history of the world during the timeframe of Vlad’s life and death
Slaying 1000 (5 minutes) A short behind the scenes piece examining the first key battle of the film and its creation The Land of Dracula- This feature is a interactive Map which takes
viewers into various FX breakdowns, short behind the scenes featurettes and more.
Overall Dracula Untold is a fun and entertaining film and definitely worth adding to your Blu-ray/DVD collection.
Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper and Charles Dance
Directed by Gary Shore
Theatrical Release date October 10 2014