Dracula Untold: More Than the Expected Blood and Gore

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When my boyfriend told me we were going to see Dracula Untold I was pretty agreeable. It falls into my beloved supernatural drama, plus it had the pull of myth, legend and history all rolled into it’s story as well: needless to say, I said I wanted to see it as soon as I had seen the preview a couple of months ago. So we went with a friend to watch it on opening night.

Overall it was a lot more tame than I was expecting. Where I was expecting over-sexualization there was romance and familial love; where I expected ridiculously gore-y action scenes there was well choreographed battles with only a couple of scenes that had me cringing due to something disgusting (literally two scenes, and this was before Vlad became a vampire). I was rather pleased with the film, though I wouldn’t say it was worth watching on opening night.

The story was well told, the characters well developed and the love between Vlad and his people built up appropriately before the inciting incident that got the whole plot moving. Once the ball was rolling, the pacing was perfect with lulls between action scenes that gave the viewer a break, but weren’t fillers. There were very few things that made me do a double take, as well, which is always a good thing in any medium.

The only things I didn’t love about the film are that there were a couple of questionable details: sunlight coming through a tent that was underneath thick, supernatural storm clouds; silver swords being not only made somewhat frequently, but also holding up in battle against iron swords. Everything else could have some explanation, regardless of how unrealistic it may be. These things, I felt, did not match up to any sort of physics that the film had previously shown to be true.

On the other hand there were details in the film that I loved to pieces, including a priest named Lucian which is a name that crops up in plenty of other Dracula tales. Earlier on, Vlad lost two of his men suddenly and in the scene immediately following he lamented the fact to his wife, saddened by their deaths. This detail could have been cut from the movie, but by it’s being there it connected Vlad as a good man who cared about his people.

I would give Dracula Untold a solid 4.5/5 stars. I wouldn’t say that this film is suitable for anyone under 17 due to its graphic and violent nature, however it is a lovely supernatural movie I wouldn’t mind watching over again.

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