Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, Prince of Transylvania (Luke Evans) seeks some unorthodox help to defeat his Turkish ex-captors and maintain the freedom of his homeland and its people. Much to his detriment, as we all know.
I wouldn't call this a fantastic vampire film, but I equally won't bestow on it the bile that many online bloggers have. Yes, the film is not Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it never claims to be. Yes, there are historical inaccuracies, but it's not a documentary. In fact, I found it to be a refreshing take on a classic tale, even if it does often delve into the more comic book action genre than anything resembling horror.
It's not a serious film, nor an accurate historical character study, nor even a horror movie. But it does well to capture the era, the desperation and shows a more human side to the famous character than previously investigated in the rather bloated world of vampire cinema.
Evans creates an attractive Vlad, but Charles Dance steals the show however, with his fabulous talent for creepiness with a touch of bitter disappointment and that fanged grin.
Image: Universal Pictures