Three news-hungry journalists travel to Transylvania hoping to uncover the truth about Dracula. To investigate the evil that protects his power they visit all the cemeteries in the area to decipher the signs and clues that are hidden within. Their willingness to do anything to get the story draws them closer to true evil and deeper into havoc, and as they start to disappear one by one they realize that the search for the real Dracula will end up costing them their lives.
Tina Balthazar, Yves Carlevaris, Chloé Dumas, Eric Kara, Michael Maricondi
Whitney McMillan, Eric Rieger, Valentino Rudolf, Ada Solomon
It took me a while to realise there are two vampires in this. There are similarities between vampire Corvinus and another, cowled figure who makes several repetitive attacks. Turns out the second fellow is Dracula himself. We alternate between Dracula attacking his victims and the three journos lounging in a room interminably tapping their phones or computer keyboards in silence. It may be true to life but it isn’t scintillating viewing. The only mildly diverting character is Hanna (Tina Balthazar), because she brings to the ‘role’ the most remarkable cheekbones. Chloe Dumans plays Emmy, Hanna’s friend, who are joined by Michael Mariconoi as the third reporter Nate. Offering support to the group is Yannis Baraban who plays Xavier.
Corvinus, is a Nosferatu-type, played by eccentric performer Yves Carlevaris, whose ill-fitting fangs make his dialogue 95% inaudible. Also, despite cavorting flamboyantly through the streets of Paris in a long flowing cape lined blood-red, he manages to attract no attention from anyone whatsoever. At times, he seems to be investing the role with some sort of camp humour, which might have been worth exploring, whereas the other actors look beautiful but don’t contribute anything other than flirting in art museums and sipping wine meaningfully whilst uttering perfunctory dialogue in broken English. There are no characterisations as such, and any hint of a personality is by accident (Hanna and Chloe, researching vampires, find Vlad the Impaler references in a library. Their professional opinion of the dictator? ‘A bad ass mother-f****r’).
When they reach Transylvania, a young girl whom they are interviewing is attacked (in a sequence featuring improbable CGI blood flying from the apparent bitings) and carried away - it actually appears something of interest may be about to happen, but no. The very next scene finds the remaining group tapping cell-phones and drinking coffee once more and we are back to admiring the beautiful scenery. The direction seems happy to allow the camera to float through spacious hallways and rain/snow-flecked streets, making the most of the magnificent architecture – which dwarves the efforts of the cast without any problem at all. The music, by Mark Yaeger, is very striking. It is as if the budget has been raised for an excursion through these wonderful cities, and some semblance of a movie has been added as a kind of afterthought.
There are many strangely contradictory online reviews – either 5/5 proclaiming ‘Grate fun’, or ‘It’s good! It’s great! It’s super!!!!’ (the vast majority of them are written in pigeon English) - or 1/5 proclaiming this as the worst film they have ever seen (these critiques sometimes consist of as many as one or two words). I wouldn’t wish to cast aspersions about ‘Dracula Reborn’s’ cast and crew writing favourable reviews, but the extreme difference of opinion makes oddly hilarious reading. I’m not sure the film is quite as entertaining, but it has its moments.