If there’s one genre that’s dominated film and television in the last decade, it’s gothic horror – more specifically, vampire fiction. From the collective obsession with Twilight’s romance between 110-year-old Edward and heroine Bella, through to The Vampire Diaries’ popular tale of warring brothers and relationship triangles, there’s something about blood-sucking revenants that appeals to our romantic side.
But while there are plenty of titles for undead-obsessed fans to choose from, one stands out as being the original and most famous of them all: we’re talking, of course, about Dracula. A now-iconic novel from Irish author Bram Stoker, Dracula was originally published in 1897, with its tale of a fiendish vampire count shocking and enthralling Victorian audiences.
Unsurprisingly considering its cult following, it has inspired many adaptations since, from 1922’s Nosferatu through to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 take on the novel, which starred Gary Oldman in the titular role.
Now, excitingly, there’s a new kid on the block: the latest BBC miniseries that was recently released on Netflix. We take a look at what audiences can expect and why you should watch it.
A modern-day take on a traditional horror story
There’s much to love about vampires: their unerring beauty, their cultured views, their tragic yet romantic backstories… All of this has made them prime fodder for content creators, which goes a long way toward explaining the slew of popular fiction in which they feature.
It’s not just the small screen where we see them pop up time and again. The same can be said of video games like Vampyr or slots such as The Vampires and Blood Eternal. Available to play at popular casinos like PlayAmo, which features repeatedly on sites like Bestcanadacasino.ca, these seem possessed of a mass appeal – and one could feasibly argue that this is down to their undead characters.
Laced with a heavy dose of romanticism and the same sense of darkness, despair, and tragedy as all good gothic leads, from Heathcliff to Romeo, these characters embody a tried and tested formula, with both immortality and an uncontrollable lust for blood (and thus lack of accountability) thrown into the mix.
What we’re left with is the ultimate flawed heroes: bad boys and girls who can be forgiven their every degradation on account of their insatiable hunger and unearthly beauty.
It’s these elements that we find again in this newest Dracula: a charismatic leading man, seduction, and subversion of morals, but all told in a way we’ve never seen before.
A standout drama
For those wondering whether this newest take on Dracula is worth watching, the answer is – undeniably – ‘yes’. Told in three immersive and engaging parts, each running to 90 minutes, it keeps audiences on their toes, by retelling this most beloved of tales, but throwing in a fair few twists along the way.
Beginning in the same place as its source material, with Jonathan Harker traveling across Transylvania to meet with the titular count, it’s much more faithful to the books than many of the adaptations that have come before it, but it still manages to include some rather thrilling surprises.
These twists are coupled with stunning cinematography, a strong script, and a fantastic cast, headed by Danish actor Claes Bang, a relative unknown to US and UK audiences. Partnered by Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, and Morfydd Clark, all deliver sterling performances that help to elevate this much-told story to must-see viewing.
Dracula is available now on Netflix. Will you give it a watch?