The Paw Print
Dracula Untold (2014) takes place in 15th century Transylvania, and Vlad III (Luke Evans) is the prince of Wallachia. One day while Vlad and his soldiers are traveling in the forest, they find a helmet in the stream that they fear is an Ottoman Empire soldier. They follow the stream to a mountain cave and upon entering the cave they discover that the floor is covered with human skeletons. An unknown creature attacks Vlad and his men and only Vlad survives because he makes it to the sunlit edge of the cave. Vlad returns to his castle where he learns that the creature is a vampire. The vampire was a man that summoned a demon from the depths of hell and made a pact with it for dark powers. However the demon tricked him and cursed him to remain in the cave forever until he is released. The person who needed to release him is someone who has to have seen him, escapes, and returns to the cave for a second time.
Vlad and his cherished wife, Mirena (Sarah Gadon), brokered a deal for peace and protection. However, Sultan Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper) of Ottoman Empire demands 1,000 of Wallachia’s boys for this army. Vlad’s son, Ingeras (Art Parkinson), is also demanded to be among those 1,000 boys. Vlad was previously a hostage of the Ottoman Empire when he was a child and he trained and became the most feared warrior. He became known as Vlad the Impaler after he slaughtered thousands. Since Vlad was a previous warrior of the Ottoman Empire he realizes what his son and all those other children would go through when collected for the Sultan’s army.
Vlad, out of desperation, decides to go see the vampire to see if he can help him win against the Sultan. The vampire tells him there are consequences for getting such power but agrees to give him some of his blood to drink. Before Vlad drinks, the vampire tells him that he will need to resist drinking human blood for three days and then he will turn back into a human. If he drinks human blood he will remain a vampire forever. Vlad accepts the risks and with his heightened senses, increased strength, and the ability to transform into a flock of bats he is able to wreck havoc on the Ottoman army.
Directors Gary Shore and Andy Cockrum have done a fantastic job with this fantasy drama film. With the 300-style battle scenes and an army of bloodsucking vampires for that audience, this 92-minute movie is worth watching for a wide range of audiences. Dracula Untold boldly interprets the origin story of Dracula and is sure to keep anyone on the edge of their seats and rooting for the main characters, and as Vlad says in the movie “Sometimes the world doesn’t need a hero. Sometimes it needs a monster.” The end of the movie gives the audience the impression that there is to be a possible sequel.