release year: 1931
genre: early horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/21/99
what I expected: no idea
what I got: dated horror movie

synopsis: Count Dracula moves in next door and begins feeding.

impressions: Horror movies sure have changed. I have no doubt that this was cutting-edge and scary back in 1931, but nowadays, it doesn't compare. There was no violence to speak of - they didn't even show scenes where Dracula bit anyone. Also, he didn't have fangs and was affected by wolfsbane (!) Good points: since this was black and white, they didn't have the use of color; they compensated with lighting effects. Still, that's not enough to make a movie that can stand the test of time. The plot was hard to follow, often cutting to a new scene without really resolving the previous scene. Also, the Jonathan Harker of this movie was pretty dense - things had to be explained to him multiple times, and he just didn't realize what was afoot with Dracula and Mina.

acting: Decent. Bela Lugosi had a pretty intense stare, and good accented European voice. The guy who played Renfield had some goofy facial expressions.

final word: Classic in its day, outdated now.

rating: C-

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