Released this weekend was a new telling of the Dracula/Vlad story. (Warning Spoilers)
A good movie with a great retelling of the Vlad the Impaler / Dracula story. The ending won’t work for everyone but it takes the audience on a good journey – Do not read on if you do not like spoilers.
This is the story of Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans) and his ruling over his small empire and his offerings to the Ottoman Sultan to keep the Turks at bay. Vlad one day finds Ottoman Scouts killed in his kingdom, the Ottomans think it is him. Upon exploring the region close to the killing it is discovered it was a vampire.
The Leader of the Ottoman Empire demands 1000 boys to keep his army going. Vlad says no, but the price is the Sultan’s Army upon his small kingdom.
He must now play the ultimate game with a “Master Vampire” who himself failed at the game.
The vampire’s game is simple – Vlad will get the vampire’s power at a cost. The cost is thirst for human blood. Survive the game for 3 days and you return to normal – dont and the Master Vampire is free from the cave and the curse is now with you too.
This film focuses less on the horror aspect of Vlad and more on the fantasy aspect of his character. His kingdom and his family react to the change from Vlad to Dracula in different ways. His wife sticks by him as his kingdom burns him alive when he tries to escape the sunlight. His son also sticks with him realising Vlad is Dracula to save his son been taken.
The kingdom battles around him in the fights but stick by him realizing why he is turned – eventually. The Sultan out thinks Dracula, and manages to get past his defenses with Vlad’s 3 days nearly up. – His son gets taken. He has to use the last of his power to save his wife (from a large fall) as best he can.
It ends with his wife making the choice for the game. He drinks the last of his wife’s blood to save their son. Then he turns the survivors of the battle on his side.
The final battle is where it all ends up with Dracula coming to battle the Sultan head on. The vampire army helps kill the rest of the Ottoman troops, and it turns into a one vs one battle with his son watching on. It finishes after a few twists and turns with Dracula winning.
Then the bit which did not work for some of the cinema audience – the move to present day aspect. It worked similiar to the conclusion of the BBC Merlin TV Show. Present day London, with Master Vampire and Vlad in tow. Vlad finds the spitting image of his wife and he reconnects. All three walk off into the distance and it ends.
A good movie with an ending that should have happened when he saved his son and gave him to the priest. But thats Hollywood for you. It took the audience of a fantastic journey with a few miss-steps to the end but nothing can be perfect.