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Friday, January 28, 2022

‘Dracula: The Original Living Vampire’ Review – ‘Morbius’ Mockbuster Makes for a Fun Remix

If for some reason Marvel’s Morbius doesn’t catch your interest, maybe Dracula: The Original Living Vampire will take a – BITE – out of your attention. Here’s our review.

Directed by Maximilian Elfeldt, and written by Michael Varrati, the film is set in modern-esque times like that of Bram Stoker’s Dracula; however, the setting and the titular villain aren’t the only similarities to be found. To Dracula: The Original Living Vampire’s credit, this film makes for an intriguing remix of Stoker’s classic horror novel. Lead investigator Amelia Van Helsing (Christine Prouty) is on the hunt for a serial killer who preys on young women. Working alongside Captain Renfield (Stuart Packer) and her scientist colleague Jonathan Harker (Ryan Woodcock), Van Helsing’s case takes her down a journey that forces her to question all she knows. And while things are already intense, the situation escalates to new levels of suspense when Van Helsing’s girlfriend Mina Murray (India Lillie Davies) is kidnapped. With her partner’s life on the line, Van Helsing’s pursuit of Dracula (Jake Herbert) becomes even more hot blooded.

As you can read from that intro alone, there’s a lot being played around with regarding the characters, as compared to their roles in the original text. And frankly, it all chalks up to a decently good time. The opening scene brings the audience right into this random, flirtatious encounter between a young woman and that of Dracula; we are then treated to a decently goofy sex scene, then cut away to the woman screaming out. This brings us into our introduction of Van Helsing and Renfield, the two analyzing a crime scene where the young woman from before is now found dead. The two comment over a news article stating how the recent killings are like those that happened a hundred years ago.

The writing behind the dialogue, as well as the acting, lean into melodrama, but never to an over-the-top degree that is obnoxious. And though it is that of a nice quality, the 3D aerial shots of the city may get a few chuckles out of folks. More importantly though, a lot of this comes together to make for an experience that is playful in essence, but still intense at times. Even if there is an air of corniness throughout, the actors do a great job of selling the seriousness of everything. The one exception to this is that of Herbert’s Dracula – who is a lot of fun to watch, but who is also difficult to take seriously at all.

Prouty and Woodcock steal the show, with some of the most engaging moments involving them. Given the film’s modern-like setting, there is a great back and forth between the two regarding science and the possibility of the supernatural. This Jonathan Harker, though he is a man of science, likes to keep the supernatural in mind; that maybe, there is some validity to the things we can’t explain. Van Helsing strongly opposes this, sort of hammering it throughout the film the importance of relying on facts and science. The dialogue of these scenes does come with a tinge of over dramatic flair, but it’s also compelling to watch them go back and forth. While the core suspense to that of the serial killer mystery is interesting enough, a big part that helps to make this movie more appealing is how fun these characters are.

The film is much like reading a pulpy detective novel; there is some cheekiness to the characters, but you get invested in the thrill of the hunt. Much like one of those novels, the film displays an effective pace that pulls the audience into the thick of thrills. Dracula: The Original Living Vampire has a vibe to it perfect for watching with friends; the actors nail a level of seriousness in their performances that can hook an audience, even if they are aware of an overall tonal silliness. It is neat to see such a remix of the classic vampire story. If you’re cool with such a reimagining that doesn’t lean in hard with scares, but knows how to have fun with its actors and story – Dracula: The Original Living Vampire has you covered.

Dracula: The Original Living Vampire is now available on VOD outlets.

The post ‘Dracula: The Original Living Vampire’ Review – ‘Morbius’ Mockbuster Makes for a Fun Remix appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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