(The gist: Dracula Untold was an excellent soundtrack to my nap. Though the premise seduced me in, the execution was so mundane that it lulled me to sleep. I did not even bother to watch it over again.)
I have always enjoyed vampire mythology. Vampires are definitely my preferred horror supernatural creature from Interview with a Vampire to True Blood to Nosferatu and everywhere in between. Dracula, particularly, has always been a favorite legend in its various tells and retells.
This vampire and Dracula affinity had me excited for Dracula Untold. I am also a sucker for a well done prequel. I find myself more interested in the development of the story and the lead up than in the action of the story itself. Dracula Untold teased at being a wonderful combination of both.
Unfortunately, Dracula Untold was a disappointment. This movie is mind numbing. So much so that I just nodded off. Right during the climax of the movie. I was bored, and I did not care, so sleep was more exciting.
I had the opportunity to rewatch the movie, to be able to adequately review the film, but I decided against it. I am sure even a second viewing would have resulted in a nap. My unfortunate viewing partner was right there, snoring beside me.
Dracula Untold has all the right elements poised to be at least decent horror. The premise is intriguing, drawing on a horror icon and expanding on a horror legend. The special effects are definitely cool, if not quite worth the price of admission. Yet the execution just lacks. The characters are flat; the plotline is expected.
It is just blah.
It cheapens Dracula.
If I was going to take a horror juggernaut like Dracula and craft a backstory that would spawn such a celebrated monster, I surely would have strove to come up with something less formulaic and mundane than Dracula Untold. Granted, the greatest in horror are always made so terrifying by the ambiguity of their origins.
The same way Hannibal Rising can ruin the entire Hannibal Lecter franchise (both in book and film).
In this case, they definitely should have just left Dracula’s past a mystery.