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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Some things are best left in the past. It’s unfortunate but true for the director that brought us one of the most influential and best horror movies ever, Dario Argento. Bringing us Suspiria in ’77, he redefined suspense and paved the way for American horror classics such as Carpenter’s Halloween. We can not pay enough homage or credit to the past work he has done. Simply put, the glamor and ability of his past work does not translate today. The Gorehound is not saying that these are abominations but compared to the past, they cannot compare.
Argento’s 2014 retelling of Dracula is typical. Nothing new but merely maintains the classic retro vibe. Let’s be blunt, there is nothing in this film that has not been done before. Absent reflections, pale skin, gravediggers, neckbiting, and blood. It’s all here with no innovation whatsoever.
The film is in line with Italian cinema. More focused on the ‘why these things are happening, rather than how’. American cinema (in particular horror) tends to show how characters progress from one scene to another. Italian cinema has less focus about how the characters got to their current place but rather, what they are doing at that moment and establishing an ‘aura’. Moreso, Argento popularized the genre referred to as giallo, which is a combination of mystery, crime, and horror. Most of his movies during his prime were categorized as giallo. For failure similar to Dracula, see the 2009 release of Giallo starring Adrian Brody and also directed by Argento.
The film is slow, almost boring. The scenes are crisp, as they should be. This film is meant to be presented in 3-D and evenso, the effects could be compared to Sharknado. The Gorehound detests 3-D in anything but huge productions like Avengers or Avatar. 3-D productions are suited for big budget projects and films like Dracula have no place.
Adding to the failure, the headliner, Rutger Hauer, has little to do in the film except fulfill the Van Helsing role and barely makes an appearance before the halfway mark. I love Hauer (especially in Hobo with a Shotgun) and was hoping that he could redeem the film. He is under utilized and comes in way to late and bring the audience back in from an awful film.
Coming in at an hour and fifty minutes, this movie is an exception to the Gorehounds preference for long movies. Longer movies are better when they are enjoyable. The cover art is well. The drawn covers look is unique and relatively uncommon. But alas, there is nothing worthy in this film. Not only is Argento losing his touch, but the Dracula series is done with. Pass it up.