Category: Dracula 2000 Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: February 2, 2001 | Publication: eFilmCritic | Author: Cochise
This is a film from Wes Craven, so it should be good. And it is, almost. Unfortunately, it fails.
WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.
A team of high-tech thieves break into a vault, and instead of finding money, they find something they did not bargain on. Dracula in his coffin. They steal the coffin, and soon, the terror of the undead is unleashed. Dracula kills or makes vampires out of the thieves. Dracula then goes to New Orleans to find the woman to whom he is mysteriously linked. And when Dracula is in New Orleans, the vampire hunters come looking for him.
This film could be good as the classic, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” However, because the film makers chose to make a typical B-grade horror flick, this opportunity was sadly missed. (Actually, according to the director in the commentary on the DVD version, he wanted to make the film more character orientated, but he had to make certain changes that, in my opinion, drastically reduced the reduced the quality of this film.
The basic premise of the film (which could have given Dracula a multi-dimensional conflicted character and even made him a sympathetic bad guy) was that Dracula, in life, was Judas Iscariot. Dracula felt that Jesus had betrayed him, forcing him to live as the undead. Dracula’s motivation for killing people and creating immortal vampires was to take revenge on Jesus. (Sort of a perverse twist to Jesus’ promise of eternal life.) Dracula’s motivation is only touched on in the film (mainly, I think, because a lot was deleted, and some of the motivation remains. (The scene where Dracula prays to Jesus is the scene that was cut down, and the film suffers drastically as a result. - See the deleted scenes on the DVD for more information on this.)
In the end of the film, I believe that Dracula seeks forgiveness from Jesus. (This might be because the original idea (see deleted scenes on the DVD) was that Dracula was repentant. Some of this idea was not completely removed, so that part some this idea of repentance still appears in the actor’s performance. Now you can decide for yourself if Dracula was repentant or not.
There are a few moments of comedy in the film. However, I’m not sure if those bits are intentionally funny, or if they are funny because they are just stupid or corny. One of these bits that I thought was funny was the look on the characters face on the airplane when he is leaning on the coffin and he first notices the smoke. (I think maybe that bit was intentional. Congratulations to the actor if it was.)
Some will say the film is rubbish, but I think if you take it for what it was meant to be and appreciate it on its own terms, it is enjoyable to watch.
The acting was totally believable (Dracula is very good), and the special effects are well done. The presence of Christopher Plummer validated the film to me.
I enjoyed the special effects: the wolf was good, the morphing of Dracula when he walks through the door on the airplane was particularly impressive..
The Dvd special edition has special features which should be especially interesting to film buffs. Looking at the original, and then looking at the deleted part of Dracula’s praying scene gave me an insight into how the film missed the opportunity to be a truly memorable one.
The film is not very good, by any artistic or critical standard. However, I have to admit I did enjoy it.
The director failed to make Dracula a complex character, and missed the opportunity to make a memorable horror film. Therefore, the film is destined to be a typical trite summer horror flick, soon to be forgotten.