Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, Francis Ford Coppola)

The legendary Francis Ford Coppola drags the vampire genre into the modern era with his stylish and very gothic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel. Even though Keanu Reeves was miscast, the rest of the group is fantastic and spot on. I loved Gary Oldman as the count, Winona Ryder as Mina, and Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing. Plus Cary Elwes, Bill Campbell and Richard E. Grant. Tom Waits and Sadie Frost have lesser parts, but add to the film’s appeal. I also liked how faithful the movie is to the book, as the character of Quincey Morris is finally included this time. Multiple parts of the book are included here and are mostly creepy, particularly poor Jonathan’s stay at Dracula’s castle.

The costume design in this movie is very on point, and I loved how Oldman’s Dracula is very 1890s stream punk. Him and Ryder have fantastic chemistry together, and Hopkins spends time chewing scenery. This film also gets high marks for its stunning cinematography and use of practical effects. Too bad Reeves is a waste, since I like him as an actor. His accent slips as often as Kevin Costner’s did in Robin Hood, and I wonder how things would have fared better had someone else played the part.

Still I refuse to hold it completely against the movie, and I willingly give Coppola’s lush epic a 9/10. Once in a while Hollywood is convinced to do a big budget horror film with talented casts and a quality director involved, and we should enjoy those more often. They are quite rare indeed.

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