Overall Rating: 3.4
Director: Terence Fisher
Studios: Hammer Films
Gore Factor: I've had steaks bloodier than this film..
Watch If: You love old school romantic horror
Not If: You genuinely believe that newer is synonymous with better. (You would be wrong.)
Similar To: Horror Express, Hammer Horror's Dracula Series
The Bare Bones: A man who's wife becomes bewitched by Dracula, he must team up with one Professor Van Helsing to defeat the monster and save his family.
This film is a must see for anyone who considers themselves a horror fan. While it's not the scariest or most life changing, it is a vital installment in what we've come to recognize as horror, and a brilliant example of the history of the genre.
In all seriousness, though, The Horror of Dracula was a roaring success upon release, so much so that it was the originated of the famed and beloved Hammer Horror Dracula series, which included 8 sequels, 6 of which starred Christopher Lee as the title character.
It's interesting and engaging, in a way that few films can manage. This film was one of the early exhibitions in the chronology of film trend, as it helped establish one crucial fact that nowadays we know to be true.
People love vampires.
This film, to be fair, is a 1959 Hammer Horror, and the acting style appropriately reflects the style that was popular during the time. Viewers who are exclusively accustomed to more modern styles of acting should understand that, as much of the film can come across as over acting.
My advise to those viewers would be to sit down and learn something from these immortal masters of cinema.
Effects at the time, were limited, and thank god for that. Horror of Dracula, rather than expending too much energy on cheesy, party-city effects, focuses on what matters: establishing tension via characters, cinematography, and plot.
Is some of it cheesy?
That's part of the fun. Besides, cheesy and scary are not mutually exclusive. (Ex. Chuck E. Cheese.)
The plot is engrossing, and you can't help but root for someone. The characters are violently compelling, and will stick with you long after the film ends. It's not difficult to see why this film was a certifiable sensation upon its release.
There's something in this film that you don't find in modern cinema, something comfortable yet foreign, that rumbles through you like when a loved one recounts fond childhood memory.