I sincerely think that famed horror filmmaker Dario Argento should not put his name in the title of movies anymore. The director celebrated for such classics as "Suspiria" and "Inferno" has unfortunately lost the askew edge that once made him a Cronenberg-esk visionary in the horror community and exhibit A, B and C is the underwhelming new outing "Argento’s Dracula 3D." Flushing both horror joy and 3D visuals down the toilet, Argento’s take on the vampire lore is a sad mix of bad acting, gamey effects and laughable third dimension gimmicks beneath the once notable auteur.
Story wise this is a tale we all know. Unsuspecting Englishman arrives in Transylvania to work for the eccentric and charismatic Count Dracula. Taken over by lady vamps and the Count himself, his wife then comes looking for him along with vampire hunter Van Helsing in tow.
Knowing the tale here only serves to hurt Argento’s uninspired vision as we’ve seen this staory and characters done better. Argento seems to have settled for the simple when it comes to all aspects of his Dracula and his limp work is so obvious a blind man could see it. His Dracula, played by uncharismatic Thomas Kretschmann, is a bore, his daughter is reduced to a non-existent role solely seen for skin and even his blood and gore feels like amateur hour. (Plus there’s either some sound issues or seriously bad dubbing going on!) The only beacon of light here is the work by Rutger Hauer as the famed Van Helsing, but even then Argento only gets a fraction of Hauer’s full potential. (Don’t believe me – see "Blade Runner" and "The Hitcher!") As for being 3D let me put it this way – I wouldn’t have even known if not for the title. (Yeah, it’s that impressive!)
I’m all for the masters of horror kicking ass and taking names, but not when they phone it in. Argento now seems okay to get by on the legacy of his name, a wink and a smile – his fans and horror hounds everywhere deserve better.
"ARGENTO’S DRACULA 3D" OPENS IN SELECT THEATERS OCT. 4 FROM IFC MIDNIGHT.
Title: "Argento’s Dracula 3D"
Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Asia Argento, Rutger Hauer
Director: Dario Argento
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Company: IFC Midnight