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Argento's Dracula (2012)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Argento's Dracula (2012) A peasant girl sneaks out of her house when her mother is asleep. She goes through the woods, accompanied by creepy theremin music, and goes to a barn--where she meets a boy for a sexual rendezvous. On her way back home she's pursued by a large owl, which transforms into a man--a vampire--and she's bitten. Days later some local men dig up her body and there's a fight when her neighbor protests. He ends up killing one of them with a shovel and is jailed. Basically, this turns out to be the Renfield character. And her body disappears.

Jonathan Harker arrives in town and meets with his wife's friend, Lucy (Asia Argento), and her father. On the way there he's pursued by a pack of skinny wolves, which he thinks is weird. Then, he goes to Dracula's castle and meets The Count (Thomas Kretschmann, who portrays Van Helsing on TV's current Dracula series!). And the peasant girl, now a vampire, is his servant. Dracula shows Harker his ancient library and Harker notices he has no reflection but keeps this to himself. Later that night he cuts himself on a picture frame and the peasant girl vampire sucks on his wound. When she goes to attack him the next day Dracula shows up, enraged and baring fangs. He telekinetically flings her aside and attacks Harker himself. Harker attempts to leave the castle, is attacked by a wolf, which transforms into Dracula--and The Count feeds again.

At the end of the week Mina, Harker's fiance, arrives by train and stays at Lucy's. Dracula visits Lucy at night and the next morning she's very pale. Mina goes to visit her husband and is attacked by the pack of wolves on the trail. She passes out--and awakens to find herself there. Dracula informs her that her husband has been gone for days. He's interested in her because he saw the photo of her that Harker carried--and she looks exactly like the woman he was in love with four hundred years ago. Drac tries to kiss her and she leaves. Once back in town she discovers that Lucy is dead.

The group of men who had unburied the peasant girl hold a meeting in town--and want to break their pact of silence with Dracula. However, a swarm of flies pours in and it forms into Dracula. He kills them all, except a faithful one. Meanwhile, Van Helsing (Rutger Hauer) shows up in town and says he'll help Mina find her vanished husband. They go to the crypt where Mina's corpse has been placed, to find it empty. Vampire Lucy strolls in a few minutes later, carrying the drained body of a child. Van Helsing promptly kills her.

Everything culminates in a showdown, with Dracula sending the peasant girl to kill Harker while Dracula turns into a giant preying mantis. Yes, it's weird.

On one hand I liked that this movie captures the feel of the Hammer Dracula movies from the 70's and that Dracula remains an evil vampire. However, the film is overly dramatic, somewhat stilted, and the CGI special effects are terrible. Definitely not Argento's best.

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Rating: 4.2 out of 10.0 - 5 votes cast total
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