DRACULA UNTOLD shows a Prince who just wants his people to live in peace. It shows a man who becomes a monster (Vlad III’s favorite method of torture was to impale people and leave them writhing in agony for days) in order to protect his realm and his nearest and dearest. It shows a Vampire who does not fear the cross, because he embraced it as a historical figure. This film goes to great lengths in historical accuracy, it is a symphony of wonderful costumes and supernatural battle and it has its very dark moments reminding of Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL.
The monster (wonderful: Charles Dance) who turns Dracula (a brilliant Luke Evans) into a Vampire resembles Bergman’s Death in an uncanny way. Vlad III Dracula might have wished for that supernatural power to vanquish his enemies which our DRACULA UNTOLD here so splendidly displays (and boy, does he pay for it). So – even if you are a Prince of Wallachia, be careful what you wish for.
The real Dracula, prince Vlad III, son of Dracul (Romanian for Dragon, a secretive Order of Christian knights) lived from 1431 until 1476 and ruled his home Wallachia in a time of constant war. Wedged between two great Empires, Hapsburgian Austria and the expanding Ottoman realm, Transsylvania was hard to protect for Dracula, “the little Dragon” – who really was held hostage as a child by Sultan Murad II.