Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 98 minutes
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The cast of “Vlad” gave me hope that this would be a good vampire (or more accurately, Dracula) movie. Unfortunately, the film is bogged down by the same problems that plague other vampire movies, though this one barely relies on the traditional trappings of the other films (silver bullets, garlic, sunlight and the like).
“Vlad” is about four grad students who take a journey to discover more about the movie’s title character (Francesco Quinn) and his land’s past. These students just happen to be in possession of an ancient necklace that awakens something evil, and to make matters worse, a secret society is after this necklace for its own reasons and will do what it can to make sure it returns to its “rightful” resting place. It sounds interesting, and is to an extent, but it is those previously mentioned problems that ruin what could be a great thing.
Wooden dialogue, boring characters, and too much of a reliance on the music to set the mood spoil any hope this film had of rising above its peers. While the film does get points for sticking closer to the true vampire myths and folklore that still exist in the Old Country, it never feels quite right. Granted, the entire vampire genre has always bothered me because it never seemed scary enough and rarely breaks any new ground, but “Vlad” shows that there is some life left to this mythos. The fact that it failed to do anything with it is all the more disappointing. Worse still, it offends two of the vampire’s biggest fans.
The goths will be disappointed that the film doesn’t embrace more of the “traditional” notions of the vampire, and the purists will cringe at the more supernatural elements of the story.
An impressive cast working with an interesting idea can sometimes pull off miracles. This isn’t one of them. Instead, it’s a worthy contribution to the genre, but nowhere near as good as it could have been.
Posted on February 25, 2005 in Reviews by Doug Brunell
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