Welcome to the Second Union 31 Days of Horror event! Every day leading up to Tuesday, October 31st, (starting Sunday, October 1st) we will post a review of one horror film.
Today’s Film: Dracula. Enjoy!
Dracula is directed by Tod Browning and stars Bela Lugosi as the titular vampire. As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of the original Universal Classic Monster movies, so I’ll be starting with that franchise for Second Union’s 31 Days of Horror. Before films like Vampire Academy and Twilight were released, this was the vampire film people enjoyed. And, upon rewatch, I can say that this film is still flat-out amazing.
Bela Lugosi’s performance conveys the image of this truly scary character so well. Even in black and white, his portrayal of Count Dracula is both terrifying and extremely surreal. The lighting, specifically around the Count’s eyes, only adds to the scariness of the character and this classic film. From the opening scene, it is made clear that the Castle should never be traveled to, and the transformation of Renfield from an astute gentleman to neurotic vampire is shocking.
The iconic story holds up incredibly well. As stated before, the lighting around the titular vampire’s eyes really adds something to the overall fear meter. Something that also makes for a compelling watch is the camerawork. Whenever Dracula emerges from his coffin, the camera pans to the side and then back to the coffin. It’s truly a masterful work of art, and a modern horror film directors could learn a bit from the classics.
The acting and writing for each and every one of the characters creates a highly compelling plot and climax. There are some elements where it seems as if the actors are phoning it in, but for the most part, they play their parts well and are convincing enough to hold up the story.
In all seriousness, this is not only one of the best horror films. It’s one of the best films ever made. It can be just a tiny bit slow at certain points, but the rest of the pacing, as well as the writing, acting and cinematography are all spot-on. It holds up incredibly well. I’m going to give it an A.
Dracula stars Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan. Directed by Tod Browning.