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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1781)

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Dracula (1931) 
Dracula review
3.5/4 stars

"God will not damn a poor lunatic's soul. He knows that the powers of evil are too great for those with weak minds." Simple, elegant, and unforgettable. One doesn't need extravagant wardrobe or special visual effects to make a great horror film. Renfield (Dwight Frye) is on his way to Count Dracula's (Bela Lugosi) castle. Renfield's sudden change has been studies by Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan). Dracula is introduced to Mina (Helen Chandler), her fiancé John Harker (David Manners), and the family friend Lucy Weston (Frances Dade) by Dr. Seward (Herbert Bunston).

Great usage of shadows coupled with a riveting score that makes the scenes extra suspenseful. Camera direction was wonderful while the cast believable Lugosi's method of portraying Dracula was creepy. Screenplay was good for it's time: "You're not going to die, your going to live." - John "The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield. - Dracula. Despite its dated scare tactics, lackluster conclusion, the impressive build-up of suspense and enthralling score makes it enjoyable. Immensely emulated and the iconic Dracula reborn several times, nothing beats the original.


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