When you hear the name Dracula in a film title, you can be forgiven for assuming it’s going to be a horror. However ‘Dracula Untold’, out in cinemas this week, is resolutely NOT a horror.
“Anybody who’s going to the film expecting a horror film, is going to be sorely disappointed,” explains director Gary Shore. “For me, it was telling a story. I was trying to tell a good drama, that has action-adventure elements to it.” Watch our full interview with the cast below.
Set in the era before Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes (Luke Evans) turns into the blood-sucking vampire, ‘Dracula Untold’ follows the real Romanian prince’s story closely, but the Northern Irish director didn’t want to make a stuffy history lesson, adding, “It’s based in historical fact and then very generously peppered with fiction.”
Sarah Gadon, who plays Vlad’s wife Mirena, says she was drawn to the romantic side of the picture. “[Gary Shore] told me it was an epic action-adventure film, but at the heart of it is a classic love story, and that’s really what hooked me.”
“It has a beautiful love story at the heart of the film,” the actress continues. It’s just as much a tragedy as it is a romance though, as the villainous Sultan Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper) threatens to tear Vlad’s family apart, when he demands their son Ingeras as a hostage.
“It’s about a warrior prince, and a husband, and a father, and a leader of people and a kingdom,” explains Vlad himself Luke Evans, “You see the human journey, which has never been done before.”
“It’s the untold origin story of the world’s most famous vampire.”
In truth, despite what the cast say, ‘Dracula Untold’ has more in common with a superhero film than a traditional action-adventure. It’s about a man imbued with special powers, who must learn to control his new capabilities, in order to save his family, friends and people. It’s just a shame that a side-effect of his powers is an unquenchable thirst for blood.
With the superhero genre dominating cinema in recent years, it’s no wonder the filmmakers decided to swerve horror in favor of something a bit more box-office friendly.
‘Dracula Untold’ is in cinemas 3 October.
Image credit: Universal Pictures