Genre: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Epic, Adventure, Action, Epic, Horror.
Starring: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, William Houston, Ferdinand Kingsley, Noah Huntley, Paul Kaye, Zach McGowan, Ronan Vibert, Diarmaid Murtagh, Thor Kristjansson, Joseph Long.
Year Of Release: 2014
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Director: Gary Shore
Synopsis: “As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own kingdom in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.” IMDB
Luke Evans truly carried this film from start to end, that is not to say that everybody else was poor, just that Evans was a complete and utter standout in his role as Vlad Tepes. He truly came across as an emotionally driven man willing to do absolutely anything for his family and people, even if that meant the ultimate sacrifice of himself. The progression that Vlad has throughout the film was great, he went from Prince of a calm and quiet land to the head of his own domineering army.
With that all being said about Evans, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy other performances, Charles Dance for one was brilliant as Master Vampire, a truly terrifying performance I’m hoping will continue for more instalments in the franchise. I will say Cooper’s character of Mehmed was a little bland in the way that there wasn’t much progression on his behalf, however a bit bland he was played well by Cooper.
I’m a huge fan of the vampiric subgenre of Horror, but found it be getting a little diluted with boring modern relationship driven stories and forgetting about the true nature of the greatest movie monster of all time. This film is a brilliant mixture of both, while we get to see the emotional struggle of becoming such a creature, we also get to see how a man striving to protect his world can use his now animalistic attributes to fight many men especially in that scene when he defeats an army and casually walks back to his people like he done nothing. “Men don’t fear swords. They fear monsters”.
The cinematography was brilliant, it was a beautiful film to watch, it had a very artistic feel to it all the scenes made sense like they themselves were part of the story. There is a fair amount of computer generated scenes, but that’s a given for the type of film it is, I usually advocate for practical over computer effects when possible. However, within this film the CG if the right approach it adds so much to the story, when Vlad flicks into bat mode to move quicker is phenomenal to watch.
Overall, a great watch, I personally enjoy every second of the film, I will say it was not what I expected but in a good way I really enjoyed more than I ever imagined. I’m surprised this film only has a 6.3 (at time of writing) on IMDB, I understand this isn’t a complete game changer in the genres it covers, however, I feel the low rating is unwarranted.
In recent years there has been countless attempts to reboot classic fairytales into modernised Horror’s, Gary Shore on his directorial debut, yes this is his debut film, what a way to kick it off, has done a great job. I was extremely apprehensive and equally excited about the prospect of the reboot, if this film is just the introduction to this world I can not wait to see where it goes. Seriously hope Luke Evans and Charles Dance sign on for further instalments after that ending!