He has the the focus of dozens of movies, lots of books, and Dracula has turned up once again in Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000.
But luckily, Dracula 2000 isn't yet another retelling of the same old tale about a man who travels to Transylvania, is captured by Dracula and sucked on by his beauties, and then escapes to London where he is once again pursued by the creature; it is more like a flashy sequel set in modern day with new characters, and a much more horror-oriented mood. There's absolutely nothing bad about the classic Bram Stoker tale - I love that version - but to see something fresh instead of just a remake is a nice change of pace.
In Dracula 2000, a group of thieves steal a coffin containing Dracula (they don't know it, of course) and he is unleashed mid-flight to the United States. When it crashes, Dracula is released upon the world, and he heads towards New Orleans, where his arch nemeses' daughter, who shares his blood, lives. Along the way, he kills people, just like any serial killer would do in a Wes Craven horror film (just note that this movie is not directed by Wes Craven, but he did have a hand in this film, and it shows).
Despite the characters having as much depth as characters in any horror movie, Dracula 2000 has a reasonably good script for a horror movie, give or take a few small things. The movie moves along very quickly, which is the best part, and there are no slow parts at all. The movie is suspenseful and action packed, and pretty scary. The biggest flaws are more character driven; I would have liked to see more of Dracula adapting to the modern century, mainly. They only have one scene where he is impressed by a television screen outside Virgin Records. I would have also liked to see more depth to the three surviving female vampires, who become more ditzy after being killed. However, I did like how the script at least scratched the surface of the conflicting thoughts inside the new vampires, as they dealt with wanting blood but at the same time not wanting to kill. Of course, like I said, the surface was only scratched.
I also liked how some of the people you thought would make it to the end actually wound up dead quite early in the film. There are some noticeable faces in the movie but the main characters are people that I have never seen before.
The ending is surprisingly well done, even if it does get a little too religious. The movie goes into Dracula's back story and explains why he is affected by the cross and silver, and while this is all nice and good, it might turn off a few of the more conservative viewers (of course, how many conservatives watch movies like this?). Still, the ending is fairly suspenseful and only slightly predictable, which is about all you can ask for in a horror movie.
Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 is a thrilling, suspenseful, and scary movie that brings to life an old legend in the modern day. There are flaws but the movie moves along so quickly it's easy to let them go.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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