31 Days 31 Horror Movies! Day 31: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Twilight. True Blood. Vampire Diaries. Love stories involving vampires are the latest sensation and, yet, Bram Stoker's Dracula did it 18 years ago. Since its release, the film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, has divided fans. On one hand it's the most faithful adaptation of the novel. On the other hand, it added a love story that many felt did not belong. However, could the movie have new life in this era? It has all the requirements. Plus, it's a real horror film which is what the other franchises are lacking.
Bram Stoker's Dracula begins in 1462 during the end of a war between Romania and the Ottoman Empire. Vlad Dracula (implied to be Vlad the Impaler) returns home to discover that his wife, Elisabeta, has committed suicide upon hearing false reports that he was killed in battle. Enraged, he renounces God and is cursed to live his life as a vampire. Fast-forward to 1897 and audiences are treated to the classic Dracula story, but with the addition of a love story centered on Dracula (Gary Oldman) romancing Mina (Winona Ryder) who is the reincarnation of his wife.
It's safe to say that this was the last great movie that Coppola directed. Even if you dislike the film it can't be denied that from a technical point-of-view it's a masterpiece. Visually, it's stunning. The cinematography is a nice combination of early cinema and what filmmakers like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson had brought to the genre at the time. The performances, except for Keanu Reeves, were great. The make-up effects, special effects, sets, and costumes were fantastic. The score by Wojciech Kilar is exceptional. And, above all, it's a solid horror movie with all the conventions done better than in most films.