Dracula Untold is a Story Worth Telling

Dracula Untold is a Story Worth Telling

Garrett Wheeler, Opinions Editor

I had no idea what to expect when walking into this one. I knew it was about vampires and the setting was in a medieval/fantasy universe, but that was about all I knew. I went into this movie completely oblivious, yet excited to see how this would turn out. I was just hoping that this would be at least decent, and what do you know, it was!

Dracula Untold is a horror fantasy movie starring Luke Evans as Vlad, Dominic Cooper as Mehmed, and Sarah Gadon as Mirena. Vlad is a prince of a kingdom that lives in prosperity. All of that changes when a rivaling kingdom, lead by Mehmed, threatens to take his kingdom and his family. To fend off these evildoers, Vlad makes a deal with a supernatural being (also known as a vampire) to protect those he loves while trying to not give in to the darkness.

This may sound like a pretty basic plot, and it is. Dracula Untold isn’t the most original movie out there, but what it does with certain plot points, it does really well. I’m mostly talking about the lore. The mythology about how things came to be in this universe is very fascinating. It gives a pretty cool back story to the Nosferatu story we all know and love and it works pretty well. However, there are some definite plot-holes that are either distracting or just pretty dumb. These are the kind of plot holes that could change the entire outcome of the movie if they were resolved.

The thing that worried me about this movie the most was that this is a first time director so I had no idea what to come of the direction of the visuals. And this movie looks pretty sweet. The world gives a great sense of dread to the viewer and gives the inflection that this is a crappy world to live in. This also leads to some genuinely creepy moments that really crawled under my skin. And the cinematography is pretty good despite having a few moments of shaky-cam. But overall, the look of this movie is definitely a plus.

Another plus of this movie is the acting. Luke Evans does a great job as Vlad. He’s a likeable family man with a dark side that the viewer can easily see show up in a few occasions. Dominic Cooper has a good performance as Mehmed, although there are some moments where he might come off as cartoony. And Sarah Gadon did a swell job as Mirena, Vlad’s wife. There wasn’t a single bad performance in this movie.

The final act of this movie is very, very cool. Seeing everything throw down at the end was just thrilling to watch. And seeing Vlad use all these vampire moves are just fascinating. The action pays true homage to the vampires of the old days. It’s too bad that characters like “Edward Cullen” have to exist because vampires are supposed to be threatening and not stupid.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You must be thinking “Wow, this game sounds awesome!” “Best movie of the year!” “Ten out of ten.” Well… no. Dracula Untold does have its fair share of problems. While I really liked the third act, the first two acts drag a lot. Nothing super interesting happens here and it all just feels pretty boring. It makes this hour and a half movie feel closer to two hours.

The editing was also not great. There are times when when there’s a cut from shot to shot, you can see incoherencies. For example, there’s a part where Vlad turns his head behind his shoulder and talks and, in the next shot, it shows him completely turned while talking. There aren’t a lot of these moments in here, but when they happen, it’s so distracting.

I would’ve also liked to have seen an element of humor mixed in here. Don’t get me wrong, I think the dark, dreary stuff is great. I just need something to lighten the mood. All this nonstop dread can get tiring sometimes and something to change it up would’ve been nice. That probably would’ve also make the movie a truly awesome experience. But instead, we get a decently fun movie.

In the end, I was still pleased with this movie. It’s not a great movie, but it’s enjoyable for what it is. I’m just happy that this movie wasn’t awful. If you like fantasy and old school vampire lore, you might enjoy this movie. Dracula Untold is a decent movie that totally doesn’t suck.

I give this movie a 6.5 out of 10. This one might be worth checking out if you’re truly interested.