Back left
Back right

Dracula: Untold Movie Review

Reviewed by on Oct 10, 2014
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s take on the movie that tells us about a classic monster, before he became one. We review “Dracula: Untold”.

By: Lynn Barker

Vlad is a prince who has had to fight a very violent war to save his family and country from invading Turks. He’s not proud of his past but wants to continue to live peacefully. When the Turks return, will he have the strength to become a monster to defeat them?

Vlad (Luke Evans) in full Dragon armorVlad (Luke Evans) in full Dragon armorCourtesy of Universal

War to Peace and Back

It’s the 15th century and, in backstory, we learn that Prince Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans of The Hobbit and Fast & Furious 6) was grabbed as a boy by rampaging Turks who stole a bunch of tween and teen boys from his country to act as child soldiers. It was with them that he learned to kill without emotion thus, in later, adult battles, gaining the title of “Vlad the Impaler” for displaying the bodies of invading soldiers on poles.

Prince Vlad with his tween sonPrince Vlad with his tween sonCourtesy of Universal

Cut to 10 years later and now peaceful Vlad has a gorgeous wife Mirena (Sarah Gadon of Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Belle) and smart, cute tween son Ingeras (Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”).

Can Mirena (Sarah Gadon) accept her husband as a monster?Can Mirena (Sarah Gadon) accept her husband as a monster?Courtesy of Universal

Déjà vu All Over Again

Vlad’s peace is challenged when, again, the Turks arrive. This time the sultan in charge is a “friend”, the old sultan’s son Mehmet (Dominic Cooper) who also demands 1,000 Transylvanian boys to fight his wars and he wants Vlad’s son Ingeras among them! Vlad no longer has a standing army. His people will be slaughtered. At first, it appears that he will give Mehmet the country’s sons but, it’s just too hard.

Turkish sultan Mehmet (Dominic Cooper)Turkish sultan Mehmet (Dominic Cooper)Courtesy of Universal

Help From the Dark Side

Learning that a bloodthirsty ghoul/demon living in a mountain cave nearby has slaughtered some Turks already, Vlad climbs the mountain to seek his help but the ghoul is an ancient vampire (Charles Dance, of “Game of Thrones” and Underworld: Awakening). He can give Vlad super strength and other magical vampire powers for three days. Only if Vlad can avoid the accompanying thirst for human blood, can he return to his human state. Can he hold out? Will Vlad’s family and country be saved? Will he destroy his enemy?

The evil demon/vampire who turns Prince VladThe evil demon/vampire who turns Prince VladCourtesy of Universal

Wrapping Up

For vampire movie and horror purists, Dracula: Untold probably isn’t bloody enough. A sympathetic Dracula just might not be as scary. Is there room for a “monster” with compassion? Dracula: Untold is more of an action/fantasy, more “Game of Thrones” than Nosferatu or early Bela Lugosi films.  This Drac is more dark superhero than supernatural horror icon. There is some horror in the film for sure but personal tragedy might cancel some of that out. Bat-heavy action sequences are pretty cool. Fight action is a little more 500 than I would have liked but it works.

Vlad survives all oddsVlad survives all oddsCourtesy of Universal

Fact is, Luke Evans is one hot Dracula and the film’s script gives him plenty of emotion and character development for a great actor to chew on. Vlad goes from captured child soldier to bloody impaling warrior to peaceful ruler and finally to monster but all for home and family. You just “like” this vampire. Many of you “liked” peaceful and hot vamp Edward in the “Twilight” series. If you did, this new version of Drac might just be your hunky cup of blood.

Vlad (Luke Evans) on the battlefieldVlad (Luke Evans) on the battlefieldCourtesy of Universal

Some of the dialogue is corny but nothing that doesn’t suit the era. Can a sad origin story with family loss work for a classic monster just like it does for Batman? Can a Dracula who is more physically and emotionally vulnerable than Dracs we’ve seen before, still haunt our nights? Audiences will decide but the film is set up for a sequel that brings Drac into our era.

As Vlad, Luke Evans talks with director Gary ShoreAs Vlad, Luke Evans talks with director Gary ShoreCourtesy of Universal

If you can trick your brain into not making comparisons to the thousands of Dracula films coming before it and just take Dracula: Untold on its own merit, it’s an entertaining visit to the cinema packing romance, fantasy, effects and war action along with it. We go at least 3 plus stars.

Dracula: Untold Movie Rating: 3

Dracula: Untold Movie PosterDracula: Untold Movie PosterCourtesy of Universal

Dracula: Untold is in theaters now!