Wrath of Dracula (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Wrath of Dracula (2023) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on July 10th, 2023 | Movie Review | Vampire, Supernatural, Vengeance, Thriller, B-Horror, British

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It's about a woman named Mina Harker, who embarks on a mission to rescue her husband Jonathan from Castle Dracula, assisted by the mysterious Professor Van Helsing.

Wrath of Dracula was directed by Steven Lawson (Ripper's Revenge, Ripper Untold, and Bram Stoker's Van Helsing) and stars Hannaj Bang BendzMark Topping (Bram Stoker's Van Helsing, The Haunting of Alcatraz), Ayvianna Snow (Ripper's Revenge), Marta SvetekJasmine SumnerChris Lines (The Haunting of Alcatraz), Sean Cronin (Election Night), and Carl Wharton (Ripper's Revenge).

Wrath of Dracula Review

The vampire horror genre continues to be popular due to its timeless allure and captivating themes. Vampires represent a unique blend of danger, seduction, and immortality, appealing to our deepest desires and fears. The enduring fascination with vampires can be attributed to their complex and alluring nature, often portrayed as charismatic, enigmatic, and tormented beings.

Director Steve Lawson's previous venture into the vampire genre with "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" received mixed reviews. While it utilized a limited number of locations and focused on a segment of Stoker's novel, it took some liberties and lacked the presence of Dracula. Some viewers speculated about a possible sequel based on the ending, but "Bram Stoker's Van Helsing" is not directly connected to this new film.

Although a different actress plays the character of Mina, there is a picture of Lucy featuring the same actress from the previous film, and Mark Topping reprises his role as Van Helsing. However, the storyline deviates from its predecessor, particularly as Dracula remains in Transylvania, and the narrative takes its direction rather than closely following the novel.

The film begins with Harker, already married to Mina, writing to her from Castle Dracula, where he is being held captive. He hides the letter among papers to be sent to England, but Dracula's brides attack him. Later, Mr. Hawkins delivers the letter to Mina, but he needs to be more helpful since Harker signed a waiver, absolving them of any obligation to assist him. Determined to rescue her husband, Mina travels to Transylvania.

At Castle Dracula, she encounters Van Helsing, who advises her to stay at a nearby inn instead of attempting to enter the castle. He provides her with a condensed history of Dracula's origins and mentions his years-long pursuit of the vampire across multiple countries. Van Helsing suggests that Mina should return to London, but he realizes that Dracula's attraction to beautiful women may allow them to infiltrate the castle. He offers to train Mina, and her possession of a Chinese martial arts book adds credibility to this proposition.

The film takes a more action-oriented approach, offering a gothic take on Dracula, focusing on female characters reminiscent of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Dracula has limited screen time, and Van Helsing primarily supports Mina throughout her journey. The action sequences are engaging, although some moments lean towards comedy and the use of sped-up scenes. Vampires are dispatched with traditional methods such as stakes through the heart, decapitation, sunlight, and silver bullets. However, the silver bullets feel out of place, as Van Helsing crafts them despite the flintlock pistol using spherical shot ammunition. While there is a Bagua mirror in Van Helsing's arsenal, it is only used as a regular mirror, disregarding its significance in Chinese vampire movies.

Worth Watching?

Set in the 19th century, the film effectively employs locations on a limited budget to create an authentic period setting. The soundtrack choices occasionally need to be put in the right place with their modern sound. The film has moments of dialogue-heavy scenes despite the action, but it features a satisfying staking moment. If you enjoyed the previous movie but desired more expansion in terms of action and locations, this film may appeal to you.

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