The immortal vampire Count Dracula arrives in
England and sets his sights on a girl named Mina.
Directed by Tod Browning
Written by Garrett Fort
Starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners,
Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, Herbert Bunston, Frances Dade
Based on the novel by Bram Stoker
This was the film that every vampire movie after it would be compared to, and for good reason. Dracula is a grandiose retelling of Bram Stoker's classic tale of creatures of the night, with the now legendary Bela Lugosi portraying the eponymous Count Dracula in the role that made him a horror icon. Though Lugosi's performance is excellent, the film itself is a chore to get through.
Dracula has only one real problem, and that is the pace. It clocks in at eighty-five minutes but feels like three hours, mostly due to the complete lack of substance or any interesting characters aside from Dracula. In the same year, audiences were given the towering Frankenstein, which in my opinion surpasses this film by a long shot. The difference between the two? Tension, atmosphere, and, dare I say it, lighting.
Having said that, the film is worth watching simply for Lugosi's performance. It's not the best of the big three (the other two being Frankenstein and The Wolf Man), but it's hardly a terrible film. Any horror aficionados out there should take it upon themselves to sit through Dracula at least once.