Thursday, October 31, 2019
Dracula Adaptations | Dracula 3D (2012)
Who's in it?: Thomas Kretschmann (Blade II, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, King Kong, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Marta Gastini (The Rite), Rutger Hauer (Nighthawks, Blade Runner, Ladyhawke, The Hitcher), and Asia Argento (xXx).
What's it about?: Dario Argento puts his startling stamp on Stoker's story.
How is it?: Argento makes some interesting choices that I quite like. Instead of having Dracula try to increase his power by traveling to England, the story stays focused on a village near the vampire's castle. In the novel, the local villagers are afraid of the count and on their guard against him. In this version, he's using his wealth and power (political and supernatural) to influence the community and even help them in some ways. But then Jonathan Harker comes to town to work for Dracula as a librarian and when he goes missing, Mina comes looking and starts a chain of events leading to Dracula's downfall. It's a reminder that you can mess around with Stoker's story and still have a cool, valid take.
The cast looks great, too. Kretschmann is bland as Dracula, but the other major characters are all visually exciting even when their acting isn't so hot. Gastini is a lovely and intelligent Mina. The best though is Hauer as Van Helsing. That's inspired.
Sadly, the cheap CG effects are super hard to get past. And there's an especially weird bit where Dracula turns into a giant praying mantis for some reason. Argento goes like two steps into territory I can't follow him, but with believable effects and a couple of tweaks, I could see myself loving this.
Rating: Three out of five Minas