Dracula Untold plays out similarly to Disney's Maleficent, where it isn't necessarily a remake or reboot, but a retelling, a 'what if this was actually how it happened'-style movie. The film follows Vlad the Impaler as he looks over Transylvania as Prince. But when the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II comes calling for a thousand boys from Vlad's kingdom, he decides the only thing he can do is confront the demonic force that lay within Broken Tooth mountain, where Vlad previously encountered the creature. Bestowed the unholy gifts of being a vampire, Vlad has three days to protect his kingdom, his family, and fend off the Sultan. But if he is to give into the thirst within those three days, he will remain this beast for eternity. Fighting the thirst, the Sultan's army and his own psyche, Vlad, a man of death who wanted to become a man of peace returns to his old ways in order to save those he cares for. But at what cost?
Dracula Untold is good filmmaking and story-telling, giving us a romantic tale mixed with themes of redemption, vengeance, courage, but most importantly, fear. Many people have criticized the depiction of Dracula, but again, this is a retelling. You can't think of Dracula the same way as you did in the Bela Lugosi '31 film or in Bram Stoker's Dracula in '92; this is a different monster, yet familiar. Luke Evans' performance, though, was without a doubt award-worthy and heart-wrenching; the man needs leading roles, because his talent cannot be contained. The supporting cast was good, but no one in particular stood out more-so than others. The visual effects, for the most part, were astounding but some scenes did need a little more work. The musical score from Ramin Djawadi was superbly dark and hauntingly epic, as if channeling his work on Game of Thrones into a more "Lord of the Rings" style score, with epic choral vocals and orchestral melodies. Gary Shore's direction was great, definitely in helping create the dark, grim and violent world of Dracula Untold. The script was good in that there was nothing cheesy about it, but there were many plot holes; the film should have been at least twenty minutes longer to add to the thin back-story.
Overall, Dracula Untold is a valiant and good effort, but falls short of being the vampire epic we deserve. But, the film is saved greatly, due in no small part to Luke Evans' acting, the visuals and the storytelling.