When a ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby the sole survivor, Count Dracula, emerges from the storm to take up residence in Carfax Abbey. Very soon, local beauty Mina dies mysteriously, raising suspicions of her father Professor Can Helsing. Convinced of Count Dracula's evil, Van Helsing is horrified to discover his late daughter's friend Lucy has become involved with the sinister Count. But can Lucy be persuaded she is in danger, or is she too much in the thrall of her new found passion? (Universal Pictures UK)


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English First of all I have to say that Frank Langella is an absolutely great Dracula and I enjoyed every look, every gesture, every step. John Badham's dense atmosphere, backed by John Williams' music, is a major contributor, and there is nothing more apt to say about many of the scenes than that they are unforgettable (Dracula's first climb down the house, for example, is a horror extravaganza). As far as the story is concerned, it honors Stoker's novel, but at the same time it bends it substantially. But I guess I understand why the creators did something (for some) so blasphemous. They wanted to surprise the audience familiar with the subject matter and thus scare them more. And I have no choice but to say that they succeeded. ()


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English Badham's Dracula, apart from being overly reverential in its execution, suffers from how old it is. It's like a car. A vehicle that is fifty or more years old will always be appreciated as a vintage classic, whereas a twenty-year-old automobile is a worthless wreck. For film fans spoiled by the possibilities of modern special effects, Dracula contains too few of them, and for lovers of classics, it is not old enough to become an object of adoration. Director Badham conceived Dracula more as a romantic love clash in horror settings. His Count is more of a fop and passionate lover who harms his victims almost casually and sometimes reluctantly. This, however, humanizes Badham's villain; he is not such a terrifying monster and is more of a tragic character. The romanticized approach is reflected in the choice of exteriors and (good) musical motifs. Directorially, it is approached as an artistic matter, but in doing so, Badham relinquished the tempting opportunity to utilize elements of "decadent" eroticism - the love scenes are shot through a red filter. The cast was decently and interestingly chosen, though Frank Langella lacks a greater dose of negative charisma. Overall impression: 65%. ()


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