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It all sounds too perfect. A Dracula movie directed by Dario Argento, shot in an old fashioned style, with the likes of Rutger Hauer involved in the cast. But this movie really confuses me however and not because it's such a clever or very well constructed one.

I have never felt more confused while watching a Dracula movie. I truly have seen a bunch of bad film-making attempts, that involve the well know blood sucking count, or one of his many off-springs/reincarnations and while this truly isn't the worst Dracula movie that I have ever seen, it still is the one that I'm the least likely to ever watch again. It's just that unpleasant to watch and I just don't know what to make of this movie and how to take it.

How serious am I supposed to take this movie? It's clearly trying to be a throwback to the somewhat more campy and cheap Hammer studios style of horror and it's also constantly 'paying homage' to some of the earlier and better known Dracula productions, including "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens". So is this movie deliberately being campy and cheap to look at as well? I think it partly is but also partly not. This movie really didn't have a large budget to spend, even if it wanted to. This becomes mostly obvious when the movie its special effects kick. It's all some incredibly poor looking CGI, that wasn't even acceptable to look at over 15 years ago. And why? It's not like the only way to do a Dracula movie right is by featuring CGI in it. On the contrary really!

But really, the cheap look isn't the biggest problem of this movie. The problem also isn't the bad acting or lack of true excitement and originality. No, the biggest problem of this movie really is its storytelling. It feels all over the place! I'm of course, just like basically everybody else, very familiar with the Dracula tale and legacy but the way this movie tells it...Most of the time I have absolutely no idea what is going on. I can't even really say if it stays close to the original novel or how the story compares to some of the older movie versions since I really can't tell! The movie feels far too random with anything and there isn't a pleasant flow in it. Besides, it also feels like they got Thomas Kretschmann, who plays Dracula, only for a couple of days in January. Then they got Rutger Hauer for 2 days in March and shot all of his scenes and shoot the rest of the movie around these schedules. The movie never feels like one big whole, which truly adds to the reasons why this is such a messy and random feeling one. Kretschmann and Hauer are hardly in the movie at all and it mostly centers around a bunch of other dull character, played by some actors that all clearly got dubbed.

It's not clever or fun enough to work out as a good and effective throwback movie and it really isn't exciting, original or solid enough to work out as a decent enough standalone Dracula flick. It's a bad and cheap looking mess, that is too poorly constructed to consider this an even remotely watchable one. A truly disappointing attempt from the master Dario Argento.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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