DRACULA UNTOLD Will Give Us the Origin Story We Have Always Wanted
Ever since Irish novelist Bram Stoker unleashed Dracula upon the world in 1897, people have been terrified by and enamored with the story of this villain. Count Dracula has appeared in over 200 films as a major character. Now, we have a new film to add to the list: Dracula Untold, directed by Gary Shore and due out in October of this year, just in time for Halloween.
The film, whose tagline states, “Every Bloodline Has a Beginning,” explains the origin of this infamous character. Finally, we will learn the origin of Count Dracula’s vampirism, a detail never revealed in the original manuscript and only briefly explored in earlier films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It may not be what Bram Stoker was intending for his character, and it will certainly not jive historically, but this interpretation is sure to enthrall audiences.
The trailer begins with a description of Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure who inspired the Count Dracula character, by his son. He explains: “My father was a great man; a hero, so they say. Sometimes the world doesn’t need another hero. Sometimes, what it needs is a monster.” We see Vlad (Luke Evans), a ruthless warrior in battle, finally standing in the middle of hundreds of soldiers’ bodies.
He is fiercely protective of his family. When a general comes to collect his son to join the sultan’s army, he instructs his son to run to his mother (Sarah Gadon), yells to the two of them to “look away,” and proceeds to kill the general and all of his men in quick succession. He will obviously go to great lengths to protect those dear to him, perhaps a little too far. Chasing the ability to defeat the enemy and protect his family leads him to a vampire’s lair, where he drinks a goblet of vampire blood and becomes a vampire himself. He’s not going to be the Twilight type of vampire, softly puffing an electronic cigarette while sparkling next to his car. He’s going to be raw and brutal.
What follows are short sequences of his life to follow; he tries to explain what has happened to himself (“I am the thing men fear. Not a ghost; something else.”) and we see his family drawing away from him, even as he does everything in his power to protect them. His shiny new superhuman power to crush his enemies with a swarm of thousands of bats comes at an extreme price: the loss of the very relationships he gave up everything to save.
Despite its engaging trailer, some are calling Dracula Untold a risky choice for Universal, given January’s poorly-received horror story remake, I, Frankenstein, which currently scores 4% on Rotten Tomatoes. Regardless, the film may excite the same audiences who’ve enjoyed recent darker interpretations of classic stories like Snow White and the Huntsman, BBC’s Sherlock, and The Dark Knight trilogy.
Originally slated for an August release date, the delayed release to October 17 may actually help the film in the box office, appealing to moviegoers looking for a seasonal scare – as long as the date doesn’t get pushed back even further.