We were promised the real story of Dracula and with all these new vampires swishing around the planet doing more harm than good, this was welcome news indeed. And yes I AM looking at you Twilight! True Blood gets a pass because…..True Blood 😛
We are treated to a quick but satisfying history of Vlad the Impaler. Ohhh it’s looking good….. so excited because its been a while between truly decent vampire movies.
Enter our hero, the gorgeously brooding Vlad (Evans) who is the much-loved prince of his small country, having brokered a shaky but stable truce with the Turks for over a decade now. Vlad used to be a bloodthirsty warrior, his lust for killing and blood knowing no bounds and earning him a fearsome reputation. But all that is in the past and he is now madly in love with his wife Mirena (Gadon) and they both dote on their young son Ingeras (Parkinson).
One day, he gets word that the Turks now require 600 boys to train for their army. The truce is no longer. Yeah well Vlad wont be giving in this easily.
And so it begins …..
The Turkish Prince Mehmed (Cooper) and Vlad grew up together when Vlad was offered as a royal hostage to the Turks many years ago. The pair was as close as brothers but that’s all forgotten now when new blood is needed for their army.
While out one day scouting for enemy spies, Vlad stumbles into a cave that is home to a monster whispered about only in legends. He is the Master Vampire (Dance) and he makes Vlad an offer to good to refuse. He offers to turn Vlad into an invincible warrior……but there are rules and conditions, of course. Vlad has few other options and thus accepts.
Vlad’s blood lust returns with gusto, both figuratively and literally. For 3 days he must resist his now insatiable thirst for actual blood, only allowing his desire to slaughter the enemy full reign. Vlad gathers his army as the Turks approach, a formidable fighting machine that will require all of Vlad’s skill, natural and unnatural, to defeat.
This movie is amazing to look at, a visual feast of men and armour and rainy Transylvanian lands. And there are some pretty spectacular battles.
Yet somewhere between arriving home with his newly acquired supernatural powers and battling the enemy, the story got lost. It built and built to a certain point and then it moved in a completely unexpected direction. This was a mistake. The movie then floundered to find its way back and so it took an excruciatingly annoying shortcut. I was devastated.
This is not a bad movie, it was just bad for me. I am a vampire buff and was so looking forward to a good vampire movie that its failure to live up to my expectations kinda ruined it all for me. It’s great to watch and the actors are well suited to their roles……especially Evans as our brooding hero and Charles Dance as the insanely creepy and evil Master Vampire. But it just didn’t do the legend justice. Oh well, there will always be another vampire movie…..
Love Flick xx
Director : Gary Shore
Starring : Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon, Charles Dance, Art Parkinson, Diarmaid Murtagh, Paul Kaye, William Houston, Noah Huntley, Ronan Vibert, Zach McGowan
Running Time : 92 minutes
Release Date : 2 October 2014