Dracula retold – A glimpse at the adaptations of Bram Stoker’s classic

‘I feel no pain, no sorrow, I am hollow’ says Dracula in 2004 fantasy movie – Van Helsing which is based on face-off between the vampire hunter Van Helsing and Count Dracula. Recently I happened to watch 2014 adventure/fantasy movie ‘Dracula Untold’ a new version tracing the origins of the timeless vampire.

In Dracula Untold, a knight named Vlad the Impaler strikes a deal with a vampire with dark forces. The vampire lays a condition that Vlad may get invisible power if he is ready to transform into a blood sucking vampire. Though reluctant, Vlad succumbs to the temptation of power and defeats the Turkish army, he has to pay a heavy price of becoming a vampire named ‘Dracula’ son of Devil. Though Vlad and his wife die, they reunite in the next life time which is based in present era only to be chased by the master vampire who gave evil powers to Vlad in his previous life time. Dracula Untold inspired me to pick up the classic novel penned by Bram Stoker. The original work is more chilling, scary, gore and full of terrifying sequences. In the 1992 movie adaptation, it showed Dracula as a vampire searching for his long lost love who is reborn as Mina Harker. In the book, there is no personal connection between Dracula and Mina. She is one of his victims who are tormented by his spell and hypnotic power. Though Mina Harker is the female protagonist in the book, it is Lucy Westerna, Mina’s friend who steals the show. Lucy unknowingly becomes the victim of Dracula and transforms into a deadly vampire. The execution of Lucy by Van Helsing is the scariest and gore chapter in the book. The 1992 movie adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola stays faithful to the original work. Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the vampire is regarded one of the best iconic roles in Hollywood.

Poster of 1992 movie Dracula featuring Gary Oldman as the gothic vampire

What really captivated me was Dracula’s portrayal in 2014 movie Van Helsing which was played by actor Richard Roxburgh. The portrayal was very convincing to the vampire visualized by Bram Stoker. In Van Helsing, Dracula thirsts for evil power to capturing Frankenstein Monster and only one person who can put an end to his dark forces is vampire slayer Gabriel Van Helsing. In the novel, it showed Van Helsing as old science professor who has knowledge of occult. From Bela Lugosi, Gary Oldman, Jonathan Rhys Meyers to Luke Evans, every actor has shown different shades of Count Dracula. Bram Stoker’s literary character was based on a Transylvanian knight. Using his imagination, Stoker weaved a spine chilling gothic tale which sends chilling goosebumps to readers even today. Do vampires really exist? No one knows. Vampires are just forgotten urban legends. Make sure that you close your windows before sleeping. No one knows when Dracula may prey on you.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Zoeb says:

    A mesmerising and captivating article on one of the most beloved villains of literature. The novel is indeed a masterpiece of horror, dread and the ultimate battle between God and Devil, good and evil staged very thrillingly. Inevitably, for me, the 1992 film adaptation with an unforgettable Gary Oldman, was the best with new layers of eroticism and heartbreak. You have given a very candid opinion of the novel and it’s various cinematic versions. Beautiful work, Prashant.

    1. prashantb says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words Zoeb

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