‘Argento’s Dracula’ Review

Dario Argento's Dracula

“Take A Heaping Tablespoon Of An Actor Taking A Role Way Too Seriously, Add A Pinch Of Weirdness, And You Have A Half-Baked Vampire Tale”

The ‘Argento’ in this case is Dario, the Italian giallo director best known for films like “Susperia,” “Phenomena” among many others.  His latest work, “Argento’s Dracula” could have been a really interesting and fun movie, though for that to have been the case Argento would have to have accepted that he’s not at the height of his powers, and rolled with it.

Unfortunately, that not the case, and “Argento’s Dracula” commits the cardinal sin of a horror movie (or any movie, really):  It’s terribly uninteresting.

Which is a pity, because there’s some cool, weird stuff in this movie.  This version of Dracula does things that I assume have nothing to do with Bram Stoker‘s original novel, such as turning into an owl (a cool idea, by the way), flies, and a giant praying mantis?!

What are you looking at?  Never seen a giant praying mantis before?

What are you looking at? Never seen a giant praying mantis before?

Thomas Kretschmann is an interesting actor, whom I have always thought brought a measure of humanity to the roles he plays.  Lately, he’s been involved with quite a few fantastical projects, such as “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” NBC’s “Dracula,” and the upcoming “Avengers: Age Of Ultron.”

He plays Dracula, and takes the movie deadly serious, which I think is the wrong approach.  I tend not to be fond of actors that chew scenery, but this film needed something over-the-top, bordering on camp, to ignite this production.

The movie also stars Rutger Hauer, who plays Abraham Van Helsing.  He doesn’t take things not quite as seriously as Kretschmann, but he’s not quite bringing his A-game either, which is tragic because Hauer has done some great portrayals of vampires in films like the original “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer,” and Mikael Salomon‘s remake of “‘Salem’s Lot” (which was actually much better than Toby Hooper’s theatrical version) and could have been an interesting Van Helsing.

As it stands, “Argento’s Dracula” is scary for all the wrong reasons and is currently on Netflix.

 

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