<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysFrom the moment Dracula (Oldman) trails a bloodied razor across his tongue with a look of ecstasy, you know that this version, going back to source in Stoker's novel, isn't going to offer a silver-tongued bloodsucker hovering over swooning damsels. In the opening sequences, Dracula's soul-mate Elisabeta (Ryder) commits suicide in the mistaken belief that he had died in battle. Forsaking God, he seems doomed to an endless existence of guilt and loneliness, until lawyer Jonathan Harker (Reeves) shows him a picture of his fiancée, who just happens to be the spitting image of Elisabeta. A gorgeous, stylised adaptation, full of visual tricks and dazzling camerawork, this places the emphasis firmly on perverse, rampant eroticism. Equally forceful is Oldman's extraordinary performance, especially in his older guise, complete with bouffant hairdo and elongated fingers. In contrast to Hopkins' aggressive performance as vampire-hunter Van Helsing, a stupefied Reeves puts in a hopeless show of defiance. This lack of a convincing central dynamic leads to the occasional sense that the film is little more than a spectacular edifice, but you'll be too spellbound to resist seduction.