Film Review “Argento’s Dracula”

Starring Thomas Kretshmann, Marta Gastini, Asia Argento, Rutger Hauer
Directed by Dario Argento
IFC Midnight
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 106 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I remember very clearly the first time I dared to watch Dario Argento’s “Suspira”. My father told me that it was one of the scariest movie he has ever seen and at the time I thought so also. Since that day, I have been a fan of Argento’s films or I should say earlier not recent films. I was excited to find out that Argento was tackling the classic Bram Stoker adapation of “Dracula”. To make it even cooler it will be released in 3D (though my review copy was not ūüôĀ ). The film is rather unfocused and lacking the certain charm from Argento’s past films.

Official Premise: Horror master Dario Argento returns with a bloody, luridly creepy version of the classic vampire tale, drenched in gore and sex. An unsuspecting Englishman arrives in Transylvania, lured by a job with a local nobleman. But the undead Count Dracula’s real target is the man’s innocent young wife. Featuring the iconic Rutger Hauer as vampire hunter Van Helsing and the inimitable Asia Argento (the director’s own daughter) as a local all-too-eager to fall under the Count’s sway.

Of course the film co-star’s Argento’s (very easy on the eyes) daughter, Asia Argento but it always strikes me odd that she has to be nude in every film that she is in with her father. I am not complaining…but just a little strange. Rutger Hauer is decent playing Van Helsing but doesn’t show up till over half way through the film.¬†¬†Thomas Kretshmann does play a pretty good job as Dracula also. He has the charm that is required for the role, yet also a darkside. The visual effects were split between pretty cool to over-the-top terrible like a giant praying matis (WTF!). In terms of gore though, there is plenty of blood spilled.

I would like to say that I was disappointed that I did not get a chance to see this film in 3D but I also honestly didn’t see a reason for the added dimension. ¬†The sets were very tight and framed low, so there wouldn’t be much of added scale. There was also little in-your-face gags that required it either. So despite the lack of the 3D, overall it felt just a little too cheesy to be taken seriously. Not Argento’s best work but also not his worst and for those that have seen “The Mothers of Tears”, you know what I mean.