The horror movie vault: Horror of Dracula (1958)

Since listening to the Poe audibooks that were read by Christopher Lee I’ve been in a mood to watch more and more of him so what better than one of his most iconic roles?

Dracula is a 1958 British horror movie inspired by the book of the same name, however unlike the book, this movie takes a different approach to the titular character and his storyline.

The story starts off similarly with Jonathan Harker going to the house of the count and being employed by him as a librarian. But unknown to him, Harker is there to root out the creatures of the night and get rid of the evil that is count Dracula.

And what evil he is. Lee manages to play him perfectly. Terrifying, menacing and yet charming and seductive. He is not in the movie that much but whenever you see him, his presence completely steals the spotlight. It’s like Dracula is actually there. You start to feel fear as he approaches you. And yet, as fantastic as he is, as expected Cushing represents the perfect antithesis to Lee’s Dracula. The perfect representation of good and delivers a performance which although I did not find as good as Lee’s is still fantastic.

Now, did I find the movie as amazing as people say? Yes and no. As I said before the acting and the dynamic between Lee and Cushing is probably the best part of the film, even though the sporadic movements can get a bit cheezy at times. And there are many other aspects of the movie that I really enjoyed. It really was creepy at some points. Something that a lot of movies can’t nail. This of course is partially because of the fantastic heavy atmosphere throughout the movie and the gorgeous gothic aesthetic. Seriously, I’d love to live in a castle like that.

But still, maybe it was the change of story, maybe it was something else, something about this movie is stopping me from actually loving it. Yes, I really enjoyed it, yes I still recommend it, but still I feel like it’s missing something that would take it to the next level. It lacked that X factor that the book had and it was noticeable. Perhaps the characters were not as engaging as they should have been. There was no one that really stood out or was that memorable apart from Dracula.

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