What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that preteens and young teens may want to watch this movie at a slumber party, but the content is too scary and sexual for most. Parents should know that multiple characters are stalked and murdered, and rise again as vampires. A chase into a graveyard lands the main character in an occupied casket. We see a boat littered with bloodied corpses. We're also treated to two impalements by iron spike, innumerable murders by severed jugular, a hanging, extremely rough hand-to-hand combat, and a beheading. Vampires are executed with silver compound bows and a silver shotgun that fires extremely large bullets.
What's the story?
Kept alive in Carfax Abbey by Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer), Count Dracula (Gerard Butler) survives to the present day. When thieves try to kidnap him, Dracula runs and ends up in New Orleans, home to Mary Van Helsing (Justine Waddell). It's up to Mary to stop Dracula.
Is it any good?
Those best served by this tired addition to the vampire film subgenre are older teens looking for a gore fest, and not Dracula fans. Because the movie devotes little time to Van Helsing before unceremoniously killing him off, few of the vampire's atypical habits are explained. This Dracula doesn't seem very concerned about sunlight, and his aversion to Christian paraphernalia is alluded to, but barely demonstrated. What is more, silver is to him as kryptonite is to Superman, and yet, as every disciple of classic horror knows, it's werewolves who can't survive a silver bullet. The breaks from tradition are explained somewhat in the final third of the movie when, aided by Simon, Mary figures out that Dracula has been around since the dawn of the Christian age. The vampire has played a rather large role in the Gospels, as it happens. This revelation, awkwardly tacked on to a low-grade slasher movie, becomes particularly offensive when Mary is left to convert Dracula to an attitude of proper Christian penitence in order to save herself (and her fellow ingénues of Louisiana).
Like John Carpenter's Vampires, DRACULA 2000 seems to believe it is superior to the average horror movie because of the distinction executive producer Wes Craven provides. Don't be fooled. This is a predictable movie whose main concerns are sex and gore, neither of which is served up with much inventiveness or gusto.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how this movie compares with other vampire movies. In general, how does the media depict vampires and the legends that surround them?