aka: Dracula 3D
Director: Dario Argento
Starring: Asia Argento, Rutger Hauer, Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini, Unax Ugalde
Jonathan Harker is a young British librarian who is traveling to Transylvania to visit the castle of Count Dracula. Harker soon finds himself being imprisoned by the Count and his lovely maid Tania.
Harker’s wife Mina travels after Harker to find out what has happened to her husband. She arrives at the village and stays with her dear friend Lucy before she heads out to the castle of Count Dracula to find her husband, dead or alive.
Is there really any need for a new adaptation of the legendary Bram Stoker book in 2013? I don’t think so and I’m not very interested in seeing new films that follow the book and premise closely, but this one is done by Dario Argento. Argento is one of my favorite directors of all time and I’m one of the few who still enjoy his output these days, which include stuff like The Card Player, Mother of Tears and Giallo. All films that a big portion of his earlier fans does not care much about.
So when the first words on his adaptation of the Dracula saga hit the internet was negative, I didn’t care that much. I thought that the trailer was interesting and regardless of what other voices, even the ones I would listen to if it came to other films, said about it I was still able to keep my expectations and excitement high.
This marks the first time I have ever been really disappointed by a Dario Argento movie. There has been previous ones that I haven’t cared that much about, but at least I have found something to like about them. Dracula has nearly nothing at all. You will quickly sink down in your chair when you see the opening credits stating that this is a film of cultural interest and have to remind yourself that this is an Argento movie and not a film from the master of trash (not meant in a bad way) Bruno Mattei.
The story is nothing spectacular, its stuff you have seen before plenty of times in the same premise. The visual look is sadly cheap and the effects are atrocious. I watch a Syfy movie almost every week and the effects here would make Dracula fit perfectly in with them. Thomas Kretschman makes for one of the most boring Dracula character I have seen in quite some time. You’ll sit and wait patiently for Rutger Hauer to appear as Van Helsing and it will take way above an hour of this two hour (yeah, it’s also way too long) before he pops up on the screen. The film does have some nudity, including a topless scene with Dario’s daughter Asia and yeah that is still a little weird even twenty years after Trauma.
I get that this is a very low budget effort, but I’m shocked that Argento wasn’t able to deliver something more entertaining than this. Dracula is bound to disappoint the remaining fans he has and I hope that he will soon have another project to present us to make up for this film. I can’t recommend it to anybody, it is not for Argento fans, it is not for those with a fetish for Dracula and Vampires and if I’m going to be kind then I can see someone who loves bad films get some laughs out of it. Dario Argento’s Dracula is a film to forget… as quickly as possible.