Film Review - Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
With a star studded line up and a famous direction from Francis Ford Coppola, and 8 awards including 3 Oscars, you'd be forgiven for thinking the focus would be on them, but this is an amazing film you must watch!
This is by far then, and still is now my favourite ever film. I am a total horror film buff, but this goes so much deeper than just the awesome story. The stylistic nature, attention to detail and quality of production, makes the film a timeless classic that I would highly recommend.
The pre-title sequence is set in 1462 in Constantinople and shows us why Dracula came to be so famous and "Dracula-ly" with bright orange colours and fabulous use of silhouette to portray the battle scenes; we then switch to dark blue hues for the majority of the rest of the film.
Moving on in time to 1897 in London, we are introduce quickly to key characters Johnathan Harker, (and if you've ever read the classic story, the guy who the book is written in his journal style), his soon-wife-to-be Mina, and crazy loon Renfield.
Throughout the film you see some great use of point of view (POV) camera shots using the ARRIFLEX 535 Camera, from Dracula's perspective and this works incredibly well for when he has taken the form of a wolf - we get to see his erratic and fast paced movements at first glance.
Not only was the style of filming, camera shots, POV and lighting superb, the quality was also there with the set design, costumes, editing and the codes and conventions of the horror genre.
The sounds are a mixture of folly, sound effects and awesomely haunting and tension building instrumental music. In typical 90's style the soundtrack was even released on CD, so you can still have it as background music for your... next dinner party maybe?!
My Favourite Bits
Basically the whole film is full of little tit-bits of awesome, so it's one of those films you can keep re-watching time and time again. The scenes when we first meet Count Dracul, watch the shadows! If I could pick any scene to sum up all my media studies training over the years, it's the scene the photo is from. When we first see Dracul, holding the ornate lantern, it welcomes us into the story and the feeling that we can going to be forced into his world draws us into the suspension of disbelief is a fabulous style.
Another notable favourite scene, is when undead Lucy is being killed off in true vampire style, her retreat into her coffin is truly awesome! For those video and film geeks, you'll notice the process, but for those of you not so intune, think about what it would look like played backward! Then to contrast the end of the scene (I won't give too much away, but this vampires right?!) into a Sunday roast is as unnerving as a true horror should be.
Before the end we see the story come full circle and a fabulous quote from Mina "how our love could release us from the powers of darkness, our love is stronger than death". So timeless.
I even love the red font on black the credits are written in! As the credits role a soulful song by Annie Lennox plays called "Love Song For a Vampire." It's a got to watch!
One Line Review
Possibly the best quality produced horror genre with a mix of romance and fantasy, with popping imagery and thoughtful attention to detail and style.
If you like Bram Stoker's Dracula, you might like to watch the original Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi or Sleepy Hollow (1999).
You can currently watch Bram Stoker's Dracula on Netflix. Check out this list of Vampire films on Netflix you might like too http://www.vampires.com/9-best-vampire-movies-on-netflix/