Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Down A Dark Alley: The Best of Horrorfest Day 2

Now to dive into the 50s and 60s write ups, although really there is only one from the 50s and a couple from the 1960s. Beginning with a short review of a really good remake:

Unlike, say, zombies or werewolves I'm not a huge fan of the vampire genre. Sure I think Bram Stoker's Dracula is a great novel and that there have been good vampire movies. Its just that at times they seem way too stuck in the past, at least more so dated than other monsters. Regardless though, Hammer Studios did a fine job rebooting that most famous old school monster, the king of all fang toothed creatures, Dracula, and they accomplished that in grand style by casting Christopher Lee in the role plus Peter Cushing as the dashing and intelligent Van Helsing, the count's nemesis.

Sure Bela Lugosi was fine previously, but the problem was that he was really the only good thing about the 1931 Dracula, which was unwisely adapted from a stage play. Even though Fisher's movie also takes some liberties with the actual book, since his film sports more elaborate style and better pacing he easily gets away such trickery. That and the fact that his movie immediately gets down to business as the Count is quickly introduced (when he finally bears his teeth, dripping with blood, it is a highly fantastic and attention grabbing moment) and the battle lines are drawn. All resulting in a few other creepy moments that I rather enjoyed, some of which are actually taken directly from the book itself. Notably the graveyard scene where one of the main players almost becomes a snack for his undead lover.

Even though the movie changes up the ending and the last act happens so fast that the tension is somewhat lacking, it is very solid overall. Considering that Fisher was responsible for other Hammer Studios movies and other horror films as well I would like to view them, and compare and contrast those with the Universal Monsters movies that they payed homage to. Most notably Frankenstein as well, a great movie that I finally saw this month. 85

Scare Level=3.0

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