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Family Movie Review: Dracula Untold (PG-13)

DraculaUntold ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 92 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The movie is supposedly the unknown backstory of Dracula, so there are vampires (along with fangs and the requisite blood-drinking), skeletons, people impaled on stakes and killed in warfare, combat scenes between Turks and Transylvanians, some kissing, the discussion and depiction of child slave soldiers, and lots of threats to the protagonist’s masculinity, which are often presented as whether he can “please” his wife. Overall, not particularly gory, grotesque, sexual, or vulgar.

‘Dracula Untold’ gives us an origin story for the classic vampire, with some twists that deviate from Bram Stoker’s original novel. The plot updates could be interesting if told in a more effective way, but the execution is largely shoddy.

By Roxana Hadadi

Can Dracula be an antihero? First-time director Gary Shore wants to switch our understanding of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire with “Dracula Untold,” in which the titular character is just a former child slave soldier trying to do right by his cowardly populace. The angle could work—and Shore certainly tries to throw some discussions about masculinity and responsibility in there—but the film is so unremarkably written, acted, and directed that it all falls flat.

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