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High praise for this film comes from Hammer fans deciding WHICH HAMMER VERSION to pick. I never saw any other Hammer films. I'm rating this as "cinema" and it lacks the poetry and strangeness of the 1931 version. This is too much like a graphic novel with cardboard characters catering to viewers well versed in the story and satisfied with ticking off elements. Crude "variations" such as hiding Dracula's coffin in the victim's cellar are trivial and achieve nothing. The variation of deciding to cast suave Peter Cushing as van Helsing is even worse --- it deflates dramatic tensions and robs the film of connections with dark worlds. Here van Helsing is portrayed as a Harley Street smoothie, comfortable and relaxed. At crisis time, his soft spoken, polished advice + his relaxed air while presiding over desperate medical procedures are more appropriate to risk-free acne treatments than combatting virulent forces of darkness. In the original 1931 film and in Cuppola's recent one, we see van Helsing's true nature as a half-frantic refugee from terrifying research territories, armed with knowledge too powerful to share. Those two van Helsings are buffeted by agitation, panic and crisis. Smoothie Peter Cushing conveys none of this, inviting us to glide our way to safe harbour.
Other deep terrors are masked when we see Big D. preferring women who are no longer young. Much is lost by this. The horror of innocent young girls trapped in horrible futures vanishes. And surely Dracula himself would prefer & be able to find younger and more attractive women to spend eternity with than the ones he's selected here --- the last one being a middle aged wife long in the tooth, set in her ways and well over the hill. I can't imagine anyone watching it twice. As a Dracula fan, I wish I'd spent my money on the Mel Brooks' spoof DEAD AND LOVING IT.
If you're not a Hammer worshipper, stay away from this one and go for Cuppola's version instead.
I am getting fed up with spending money on blu ray reissues of some of my favorite films, expecting that the quality will be a significant upgrade. Of around 20 blu ray discs I've purchased this year of classic horror and sci fi films, I'd estimate that 1/3 of them are no better than the DVD issue. Regarding "Horror of Dracula", despite the claim of this film being "restored", it is not. It looks like they adjusted the contrast setting and turned up the color saturation and just let the film run. Like one of the 5-star reviewers of this film noted, the sky is blue in the opening credits of the film on blu ray. But it was never "brown" on the DVD release like he claimed, it was a lighter shade of blue. I'm not dissatisfied with the colors on the DVD release. You can adjust your TV controls to suit your taste without having to buy a blu ray to do it for you. There are some scenes in the blu ray release that I consider blu ray quality, but overall, there's little improvement in clarity over the DVD release. I made the mistake of buying this believing Warner Archives would actually be selling a better quality film on blu ray, but it's not.
The Warner Archive release of THE HORROR OF DRACULA turns out to be a major disappointment. Lions Gate released a very nice edition back in 2012 or 2013. You'd think Warner would, all these years later at least match that edition. Not so. No extras, no restoration, and color grading that some claim is more accurate, but others... claim otherwise. At issue is the difference between original American prints vs. original UK prints and other things I won't bore you with, but people who look at the comparisons between the Lions Gate and the Warner Archive tend to agree. The Lions Gate looks better than the Warner Archive, which again has no extras to make up for a less-satisfying image.
its not very good its tipical and tiresm after a bit it just seems to drag on i have seen this great and wonderful actor do such great work in his movies that this is just him being faithful to the production company to even consider doing this film.