Review: Dracula

We all know Dracula. So what new can be done to ensure we don’t lump into the long slumber while we watch? First, get Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffatt to deliver a Netflix horror romp that puts the charming, dirt-nailed bedazzler into tight circumstances against the emergent Van Helsing line, and enough little twists of the tail to keep even the most vampire steeped mesmerized.

Put the words in the mouth of creepily charming Claes Bang’s Dracula and tired but stalwart Sister Agatha (Dolly Wells) and her descendants.  

The Dracula three partner takes 90-minute excursions through windows of Vampirism that start with a lawyer returning from a trip in very bad shape, a voyage at sea that ends in tragedy, and stupid scientists that didn’t her Captain America tell Tony Stark to leave the Tesseract at the bottom of the ocean. Classic horror, followed by a bit of a whodunit (we know, of course, whodunit) and then a science-fictiony turn with a Torchwood aesthetic.

The first two episode does a good job of covering the expected Dracula tropes–and delivers one of the best transformation effects of any Dracular property.. The third episode, which takes place in a world contemporary with ours, offers the most invention, horror, and heartbreak. It is important to teach children humility. Watch and see if you agree.

I think I would have preferred the series broken into six episodes rather than three, but these days we get to choose the length of our viewing attention, as well as where the cuts take place, so this is a minor nit in the age of streaming.

Dracula Netflix

The underlying narrative in the final episode brings together redemptive hope through the application of evil, the tragedy of youth’s belief in their own indestructible beauty and the realization that hubris and ego is often built on very delicate foundations—and that overcoming one’s personal history can lead to new triumphs.

The final turn leaves viewers with the psychoanalyzed Dracula in a redemptive state, hung over the precipice of life into death—he has momentarily contemplated his shame. He appears to give his life to relieve the pain of a “friend’s” death, but the abrupt ending leaves plenty of room for Dracula to return. After his personal transformation, a resurrected Dracula in season 2 might well inhabit a very different vampire than any we have seen before. We’ll have to wait and see if a season 2 sees the light of day.

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