A brave attempt at a Bram Stoker Indie.
Patrick McManus has chosen to butt heads, with the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and more recently Dario Argento, by declaring this a Bram Stoker Dracula production, which for a directorial debut by a rookie is either brave or reckless. By the end of the movie I was convinced it was a bit of both. When it worked it was great but when it didn’t … well, it was rough. Because most people (including myself) are very well versed on Vampire lore and also the story itself thanks to the aforementioned directors, when watching this movie they will be comparing and judging which is precisely the opposite of what McManus needed.
The acting was solid but a few of the performances clearly lacked focus or guidance which was particularly noticeable with Stuart Rigby’s take on Dracula. His actual acting was good, but his Dracula came off as “snide” instead of arrogant, which is really not a good way to play the immortal Vampire. We’re simply too used to Dracula being played cool and sophisticated, but instead we got a ‘sneer’ instead of a ‘leer’ which is the director’s job to help achieve. This is just one such example of where you can see the difference that experience can make.
This isn’t a perfect film, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s low budget — independent, and it’s a debut, so in actual fact, it’s one of the better efforts of this genre and isn’t all that far from Argento’s strange attempt. I enjoyed watching it only because I wanted a Vampire fix, but this wouldn’t come close to satiating your average movie fan thirst for a good horror. I would advise them to look elsewhere. This is one for the Indie crowd or die hard vampire freaks, but it shows Patrick McManus has something to offer and is worth keeping an eye on in the future.
Recommended, but not for everyone.
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