Friday, October 07, 2011

Bram Stoker's Dracula

The Husband, The Younger Son and I watched Bram Stoker's Dracula this afternoon. None of us had seen it before, but I had heard it was the closest to the book yet achieved on film. It's been a long time since I last read the book, but I don't remember a lot of this. I found the costuming distracting. I didn't understand Dracula's aging issues: old, young, old, young, and none of it gradual. Harker's hair color also changed from dark to almost white back to merely graying in what I can only assume were continuity errors. Gary Oldman is Dracula, Winona Ryder is Mina, Keanu Reeves is Jonathon Harker, Anthony Hopkins is Van Helsing and Tom Waits is Renfield.


Roger Ebert finishes his review by saying, "The movie is an exercise in feverish excess, and for that if for little else, I enjoyed it." The New York Times says, "This "Dracula" is most easily enjoyed if you don't search too hard for meanings". An essay here concludes that
Coppola does not really attempt to reconstitute Bram Stoker's original vision of vampire sexuality amid Victorian England. Coppola effectively refigures the tale for a late twentieth century audience. ... It speaks of human possibilities rather than limitations, despite all the marketing claims about a return to Stoker's original nightmare vision.
Ferdy on Films calls it "barely effective as a horror movie" and says,
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is definite proof of many of the worst things said about Coppola in those waning days: that he was only interested in style, and that his care with the human element was gone.
DVD Talk says, "The greatest thing to recommend Coppola's adaptation of Dracula is what a stunning visual tour de force it is." Moria calls it "a strong and original reworking of Bram Stoker." Bright Lights Film Journal closes with this: "Overall, this version of Dracula adds more elements than it takes away, though that does not necessarily make it better or more faithful." Rotten Tomatoes top critics gives it 88%.


  1. ...still better than Twilight, am I right?

  2. I have heard about Twilight, but I haven't read any of the books or seen the movies. I feel like I'm missing a whole segment of pop culture, but that's not a new feeling for me.