Dracula Series Review: Sink Your Teeth Into This Fun New Interpretation Of The Prince Of Darkness - GMonsterTV

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Dracula Series Review: Sink Your Teeth Into This Fun New Interpretation Of The Prince Of Darkness

"Dracula" just dropped on NetFlix. It was developed by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (the guys behind 'Sherlock"). It's of course based on Bram Stoker's book "Dracula". The show originally aired on BBC One. There are only three episodes total so its a super fast watch. it stars Danish actor Claes Bang (as Count Dracula) , Dolly Wells (as Sister Agatha), John Heffernan (as Jonathan Harker), Morfydd Clark (as Mina Murray) and Lydia West (as Lucy Westenra). 

It's 1897. We meet a man who is holed up in a Budapest convent. Given his appearance, something is definitely wrong with him. A nun arrives (Sister Agatha) to try to get to the bottom of why he is there. This man is Jonathan Harker. He begins telling the tale of how he escaped Count Dracula. 

We see in flashbacks, Jonathan travel to Transylvania to visit Count Dracula. What he thought was a business trip (Jonathan is a lawyer) quickly turns into a hellish nightmare. Dracula is interested in traveling to England to start a new life. 

We eventually learn that Jonathan is in fact dead. Dracula had offered to make Harker one of his "brides" (he doesnt discriminate against bros) but Jonathan wasnt having it. Instead the Count bleeds him out and leaves Jonathan to die. 
Jonathan comes back as one of the undead and throws himself off a castle tower. This is how he escapes. 

Back at the convent, the unorthodox nun, Sister Agatha, has some tricks up her sleeve. She has brought Jonathan's fiance, Mina, to the convent (disguised as a nun). But she cant save Jonathan either. He's too far gone. 

Sister Agatha is a smart cookie. She knows that Dracula is afraid of crosses, sunlight will kill him, he can control the weather and animals (his favs are bats and wolves) and he can NOT enter a residence unless invited. She needs to find his main weakness. How does this nun know so much? It's because her last name is Van Helsing. Cool. I didnt see that coming. 

Dracula attacks the convent. He was initially forced to stay outside where he goes nose to nose with him. Great scenes. She's not backing down one inch. The nuns are armed with stakes. They're not letting him in. Jonathan invites him in (because the Count promises to kill him and put Johnny Blue Eyes out of his misery). Dracula cant kill the nuns himself, because of their crosses, so he has his wolf pack do it. He lets Mina go and takes Agatha with him. 

We next see the Count on his voyage to England, He doesnt hide in his coffin the whole trip. He mixes with all the passengers because... he likes people. Too funny! The others of course start disappearing. They blame the passenger in cabin 9 (since no one ever sees them). That turns out to be... wait for it... Sister Agatha. They almost hang her for killing everyone but eventually learn it's Dracula who is the real killer. They set him on fire and dump him into the ocean. Two of the crew members escape in a lifeboat. Sister Agatha and the captain stay behind to blow up the ship so Dracula's soil filled coffins wont be use able. 

But ya know you cant get rid of Dracula that easy. At the beginning of episode 3 he walks ashore in England. It turns out he's been in "stasis" at the ocean's bottom for 123 years. He delights in the modern conveniences-- pictures boxes, telephones, cars, Tinder, etc. He is confused by the concept of "rights" and why they have given him a toilet in his sunlight secured cube. He meets a women who looks exactly like Sister Agnes. It's because this Dr Zoe Van Helsing. She is Agatha's great, great, great niece (or something like that). Zoe is the scientist in charge of the Jonathan Harper Foundation. That are bankrolled by some nefarious organization. We're not sure what they plan to do with Dracula except experiment on him and "humanely" feed him. We never learn the specifics.      

I know some had an issue with them putting Dracula in modern times (since similar plots have been done so many times before). I'm personally OK with it. As long as Dracula is sufficiently sexy, scary, and funny, I'm willing to watch whatever. 

Frank Reinfield (descendent of the original Renfield) is Dracula's lawyer. Note: He's delightfully played by show co creator Mark Gatiss. While imprisoned, Dracula contacts him via Skype. Dracula successfully guessed the wifi password-- its his name. Renfield springs Dracula and then they set about his plans for world domination. But first things first. Renfield tries to procure people for Dracula to drink. None taste that great. Dracula says he's a conossiuer and not a glutton. It is interesting to note that he takes on the skill set and memories of whomever he drinks. That's a interesting twist.  

Dracula happens upon Lucy. She's the ex girlfriend of Jack Seward, a junior doctor and protege of Dr Van Helsing. He wants Lucy as his bride. Lucy thinks he's sexy and dangerous. Why is Dracula so interested in her? She is the only person he's met in 500 years that embraces death. That is until she finds out the bitter truth about it. Dracula shows her that some people are conscious after death and lay scratching in their coffins trying to get out. He begins to feed on Lucy. He warns her not to be cremated (as she had originally wished). She ides and what do her relatives do? They cremate Lucy (not realizing she is conscious the whole time). That was a terrifying scene to watch. She manages to escape but is crispy friend. She returns to Dracula. Van Helsing and Jack are there. After showing Lucy her true self, Jack humanely kills her with a stake to the heart. It is emotionally jarring but would have more of an impact if Lucy's character had been better developed.  

Then there's a final showdown between the Count and Van Helsing. She is dying of cancer but drank his blood so she is now channeling her aunt Agatha. She finally learns Dracula's main weakness. It is his cowardice and fear of death. In the end he accepts what she tells him as truth and drinks Van Helsing's blood (thus killing himself). And end scene. Not sure I'm buying that Dracula is just going to off himself after all these years. He seemed to be having too much fun in the new world. Plus, he's FREAKIN Dracula. But whatever. I know some arent happy about it but for I'm still OK with it (given the strength of the rest of the story).       

Grade: 4 1/2 Monsters (out of 5). I was worried this "Dracula" would be the same story we've seen time and time again. I'm happy to report this is a fresh retelling with some fun new twists.The cinematography of the show is beautiful. All the actors are excellent-- especially Claes Bang as the always charismatic, possibly pansexual and surprisingly funny Count. He's the hero of his own story (as every good villain should be). There are just three 90-minute episodes so "Dracula" is a super fast watch. I hope NetFlix continues the story. It's too good to stop here (even though this ending looks pretty "final"). Is the show perfect? No,but it has enough going for it to keep me interested. Oh, and did I mention there's a vampire baby? We dont see him for long but he's a horrifying little guy.    

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TV: Heavy On Sci Fi, Horror & Adventure

January 5, 2020
Dracula Series Review: Sink Your Teeth Into This Fun New Interpretation Of The Prince Of Darkness Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 3:39 AM Rating: 5 "Dracula" just dropped on NetFlix. It was developed by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (the guys behind 'Sherlock"). It...

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