After a real estate agent signs a multi-million dollar contract with a mysterious buyer his wife becomes enchanted with his client beyond belief. Will his wife remain in an unearthly trance or will true love prevail?
Directed By: Patrick McManus
Starring: Corey Landis, Victoria Summer, Stuart Rigby, Keith Reay, Ian Pfister
I have to commend any film maker or novelist that is brash enough to create a new vampire tale these days. The genre has become so ridiculously saturated often appealing to a pre-adolescent crowd with ample sparkles and glitter. On occasion there is a new release that would cause one Bram Stoker to toss in his grave just a little less.
Many of the silver screen classics remain in their rightful place in cinematic history and really face no serious threat towards being forgotten. Original trailblazing innovators such as the 30’s chiller Dracula, Son of Dracula, Dracula’s Horror, the nineties adaptation Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview With A Vampire, or even Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000 set the precedence of formidable Dracula stories. Dracula Reborn somehow falls short of its mark but is far from the worst vampire flick you could see. The director doesn’t harp on a lot of needless exposition, history or past sequences. The audience as a result gets an undeniable made for TV kind of mood.
There isn’t a whole lot of blood and gore, yet at the same time there isn’t much invested into emotion or character development. The use of cinematic close ups with the character of Dracula or Vladimir Sarkany (who incidentally resembles a poor man’s Tom Cruise) is a little bizarre at first yet it tends to grow on you. The sound effects of simultaneous unholy whispers is bone chilling and the visual grandiose of blackened soulless eyes is creepy and kind of trippy. The camera pans to microscopic images of blood swirling as he over takes his would be victims. It’s definitely different if not effective managing to transfix the audience unto the next scene.
It’s refreshing to see the male protagonist of Jonathon Harker played by Corey Landis as a vulnerable, insecure neurotic and a strong female lead, his wife Lina played by Victoria Summer. For the post pubescent viewer she’s most easy on the eyes in an ‘80’s Courtney Cox kind of way.
The music is a classical, contemporary blend that manages to stir sensations of dread and foreboding. Again there is little blood utilized in the picture which will be disappointing to most. Without engulfing too deep in plot spoilers there is one scene however that is guaranteed to make your skin crawl involving Lina Harker and her beloved house hold pet.
The character of Van Helsing that enters the fray to help stop Dracula as played by Keith Reay is a little disappointing. Perhaps we’d been a little spoiled in the past having witnessed Anthony Hopkins or Hugh Jackman take the reins in the other endeavors. The performance comes across as a little ludicrous and provides unintentional comedic relief. The scene where he obliterates two questionable police officers is outrageously priceless.
Renfield, Vladimir’s personal valet is well cast and played flawlessly. His dry wit and candor is a welcome distraction from the monotony of where the plot is going or not going. There’s one scene in particular that makes no sense whatsoever. One has to appreciate in our genre characters do a lot of things in haste or make poor decisions. After the Harkers’ car breaks down they decide to camp out on the woods on a blanket. They’re not that far removed from civilization, perhaps a ten to fifteen minute walk. It holds little water of relevance but ties in well to how Vladimir seduces his unholy matrimonial maiden. It could’ve been done in a thousand other different ways and in a manner of speaking kind of insults the audience’s intelligence. The climax of the film leaves little to the imagination bursting the flood gates wide open for another pointless sequel. Dracula Reborn arguably never should have been conceived. Yet then again in comparison to other vampire related fanfare it really could have been far worse.
-Two out of five tombstones
Dracula Reborn (2012)