Horror fans can’t get enough of this “luscious mess” of a movie
Modern mainstream Gothic horror is a tricky genre to nail, it requires a lot faith in the director on the studios’ behalf due to the budgets required for such lavish sets and general costs involved.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, released in 1992 and starring Gary Oldman as the titular mythical figure with Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves as Mina and Jonatahan Harker, a couple who are assisted in the film by Anthony Hopkins’ Professor Abraham Van Helsing, was directed by the experienced hands of Francis Ford Coppola.
Much is made of the British accents used in the movie, as well as the flamboyant and flowery acting styles, but the richness of the production cannot be ignored. Coppola famously eschewed modern technology for the set pieces, instead preferring to rely on more old-fashioned forms of trickery and effects to further ensconce the viewer in the classic setting and vibe of early cinema; resulting in some very memorable moments.
With a score provided by Wojciech Kilar that matches the epic cinematography, courtesy of Michael Ballhaus, is it a far stretch to say that the acting, accents and general approach by all actors in the movie is exactly what was needed to make the film a success? After all, in relying on antiquated methods for the special effects side of things, perhaps the director also yearned for a more theatrical acting style from his cast? If so, they certainly delivered on this front.
Featuring a memorable side character in Tom Waits’ wonderfully insane Renfield, the film went on to gross over $200 million from a $40 million budget. A luscious mess it may be, but almost thirty years after it’s release, film-goers are still getting lost in the foggy Transylvanian foothills.