Argento’s Dracula 3-D Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Hutger Hauer, Asia Argento
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Format: Color, 3D, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • Release Date: January 28, 2014
  • Run Time: 110 minutes


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            I have mixed feelings about the choice to have Italian horror legend Dario Argento’s name attached to the title of this campy 3D revision of the classic vampire tale taken from Bram Stoker’s novel. On one hand, it was a kindness to not attach Stoker’s name to the title, while Dario Argento’s name is also too good to be sullied by such a sloppy bit of filmmaking. Though it is has long been clear that Argento’s golden era of filmmaking ended decades ago, this is a new low in his filmography. The only positive reason for having his name in the title would be to elevate the box office numbers, while simultaneously sinking Argento’s credibility as a filmmaker.

     

            Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted) plays the grieving Count Dracula, who still longs for his beloved Dolingen De Gratz, whose death 400-years earlier still haunts him. When a newlywed Mina Harker (Marta Gastini) arrives in Dracula’s village, he believes her resemblance to his long-lost love to be a sign, luring her husband to his castle. The cast also includes Argento’s daughter, Asia, who is far from convincing as an actor, though it matters little in this campy 3D film.

     

            The biggest problem with a visual emphasis on 3D effects is the detriment to the 2D image. Though home entertainment 3D viewings are becoming more common, with a 3D Blu-ray combined with regular 2D on one disc in this package, it is still not the common method of home entertainment viewing. This is significant because of the drastically different visual style often accommodating the finicky medium of 3D. They must slow the action down and keep the screen brighter in order for the effects to work in 3D, but this has an awful effect on the 2D version. This particularly harmful in a horror film, which benefits far more from the ambiance and sudden frights than any spectacle brought with 3D. The visual effects themselves look unfinished, far from frightening, and as though they were created with technology at least a decade old.

     

            The Blu-ray release includes both the 2D and 3D versions on one disc, along with a 3D music video and behind-the-scenes featurette. There is also a trailer gallery for the film.

           

    Entertainment Value: 2.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 2/10

    Historical Significance: 4/10

    Disc Features: 4.5/10

     

     

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