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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Spring 2014

Dracula Untold (2014) movie review

A New Beginning

An interesting movie with a different take on the origin of Dracula the Vampire.

The film starts off with a little back story about the Turks and what the did to the Transylvanian princes and their children - giving more background to Dracula's early upbringing and his relations with both the Turks and his own people. A lot of this part of the film is no different to the other incarnations of the Dracula back story, just done in an almost graphic novel style.

The film opens with Dracula's men finding the headgear of some Turk soldiers in a river coming down from the mountains, identified as scouts, giving rise to worry that they are about to invade, again. Dracula and two of his men follow the river up to a cave in the mountains, the haunt of something that feasts on men.

movie poster, Dracula Untold, Festivale film review; 220x348

Movie poster, Dracula Untold
The Legend Is Born

The two accompanying men die to show the monster and Dracula escapes. He finds more information about what may live in the cave from some monks.

There are differences from here on in with the other stories about how he becomes a vampire. It is almost as if he is being portrayed as the "good" guy, albeit, with some rather bloodthirsty tendencies.

The period costuming is sumptuous and well done, his armour is also well done whilst paying homage to some of the other, more recent Dracula films.

His beginning is, as far as he is concerned, done for the right reasons, with the possibility of salvation ... but as we all know, this was not going to happen, otherwise, there is no Dracula, The Vampire.

Some of the special effects are awesome, as are some of the battle scenes. My companion for the evening had issues with the fighting, but I was suspending belief, it IS fantasy and some of the filming style was very reminiscent of 300!

Overall, I liked it, at 89 minutes, not particularly long, very few slow spots, it kept moving and there was sufficient expository elements to keep you up to date with the story. The ending was very much in keeping with a film that fully expected to have a sequel or two and I must admit, I'd be interested to see if there is one.

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by Richard Hryckiewicz
Australian release 2 October 2014
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Dracula Untold (2014)
Written by: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Bram Stoker (characters)
Directed by: Gary Shore
Running time: 92 mins

The Players: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Charles Dance

Official website:
IMDb entry

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