Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dracula (1992)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Jonathan Harker is a lawyer sent to Europe to take over the job of a previous lawyer who has gone mad. Upon arriving in Europe, he quickly finds out why. He is imprisoned by Dracula, the man whose services he is under. Dracula in turn realizes that Harker's wife is his own lost-love returned and begins to take steps to get her back.

Scariness factor: It has its spooky moments.

Gross-Out Factor: Chopped off heads. Many of them.

Complaints: I *adored* this movie in high school. I was a bit smitten with the whole vampire-mystique, and I still find it tremendously sexy. However, watching this again, it seems so very DATED to me. Perhaps this is because Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder are in it, and it makes me feel like I'm back in the days of Bill & Ted and Reality Bites, but I'm not quite sure. Nonetheless, it just seemed a bit silly to me at points. Presumably Francis Ford Coppola was trying to capture some of the mood of older Dracula/vampire movies with silly things like eyes in the sky or shadows moving around unaccompanied by their masters. But it just felt SILLY most of the time. Which was disappointing to me. Plus: seriously: Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves are just SO not good in this movie. Watching Keanu Reeves is like watching a cardboard cut-out of himself PLAYING himself. And Winona Ryder is like watching every other character she's played, but this time wearing big floofy dresses and talking with a weird accent. I *will* say that I may be a bit harder on this movie than I normally would be, simply because I held this movie so close to my heart in high school and it just didn't live up to what I remember, so take that as you will. (I still suspect I will have some of you yell at me for rating it so low.)

High Points: Gary Oldman. Bless his heart. I adore the man, and with good reason. He is one of the only actors in this movie that makes it believable. He is sexy. And creepy. And hideous. And he's actually able to pull off the "aging face-makeup" that they used on him to make him look ancient. (On the other hand, they thought, for some reason, that just putting some wholly artificial gray in Keanu Reeves' hair would age him--instead it just makes him look like an even BIGGER jack-ass.) Oldman also manages to pull off a fake Transylvanian accent, which kept making me think, "Yeah, I buy it." He is the only thing in this movie that feels like it's aged well and hasn't become representative of the '90s. Oh, and there ARE some sexy vampiric moments, so that was nice. But I don't know if it made up for Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder.

Overall: Watch it. Don't watch it. Do as you will.

Grade: C+



At 11:18 PM, Blogger Joanne said...

LOL !!!

Yeah I loved this film in high school too! I have not watched "dracula" in almost 8 years but I've been out of high school for, ummm...20 years!!?
Since 1988 - so that makes me...something yrs old...never mind! :D

Yeah - I can totally see myself having similar thoughts about Keanu and Winona...and whatever happened to Mr. Gary? He is an awesome actor...we need him in more movies.

I found the possessed sheep film that you reviewed a few weeks back, at my local movie rental store...but damn, it's always out!

At 8:41 PM, Blogger SikeChick said...

I saw this on Thanksgiving back in 1992 (all by myself for the holiday in a new city). I developed a mad crush on Gary Oldman after that. Now when I watch, it just seems laughably campy. So badly acted and over-the-top. This is what happens when big-name mainstream directors decide they can make a horror movie.

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