In 1897, Bram Stoker gave the world ‘Dracula’, the dark, mysterious Count Vlad from Transylvania with vengeance on his mind and love in his heart. Francis Ford Coppola (of ‘The Godfather’ fame), widely considered one of the greatest and most influential directors of all time, immortalized the dark, brooding and beautifully haunting story of Dracula by making the movie of the same name in 1992, with beautiful gothic settings, great although slightly over-the-top acting and a very faithful representation of the book. The movie was a runaway success, with great critical and commercial acclaim, and is considered one of the greatest movies of the 1990s. It also helped bring back the concept of vampires and werewolves in popular culture. A lot of movies and books, good and bad, were made after Dracula but none could ever have the kind of cultural significance that ‘Dracula’ did. Until 2005.
In 2005, an author called Stephenie Meyer published a book called ‘Twilight’. The book was an even bigger success than the original Dracula, selling 17 million copies, having three sequels and all of them being made into feature film adaptations (three already released) by a promising new director called Catherine Hardwicke. The movies too have been runaway successes, despite being critically panned for the most part. Now without going into too much detail, I am simply going to state facts about both movies and want YOU to be the judge of which one is better. Ok, here goes
Award winning theater actor also been part of critically acclaimed movies such as Sid & Nancy, State of Grace, JFK etc before playing Count Dracula. After Dracula, has been part of movies like Leon, Air Force One, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight etc. and has won great critical acclaim for these roles.
Was fired the night of his first play opening and went on to play Cedric Diggory in the ‘Harry Potter’ series where he went largely unnoticed before being cast for Twilight. After Twilight, went on to play the protagonist in the widely panned movie ‘Remember Me.’
The entire movie was set in the romantic yet creepy countryside of Eastern Europe. The sets of this movie are considered some of the greatest ever made and really added character to the story and made it more immersive.
Forks, Washington. Enough said.
Vlad the Impaler comes back victorious from a war only to see his wife killing herself because she was given false news of his death on the battlefield. He renounces God and becomes an immortal only to find after many centuries that the love of his life is the wife of an accountant he called from England. Against all odds, he wins her love, and in a beautiful final scene, makes her kill him to be free from this existence, thus proving love truly conquers all.
Bella Swan is not sure whether she loves a vampire or a werewolf. There seems to be no explanation why she falls for either of them.
4. Supporting Cast:
Keanu Reaves(who became a superstar acting in many successful movies such as Speed, Matrix Series, The Devil’s Advocate an so on), Winona Ryder( who became the world’s most famous shoplifter), Sir Anthony Hopkins( who caused a lot of people to develop insomnia after a chillingly frightful performance in ‘The Silence Of the Lambs’) as the main supporting cast.
Kristen Stewart (in all fairness did do a couple of good movies like ‘Adventurland’ and ‘The Runaways’ and has a bright future ahead), Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, etc. Heard of any of the others? No? Good, lets move on.
5. Cultural Significance:
After Dracula released it changed everything. Gothic romances were in the air again. Vampires and werewolves had become cool again. Dracula became a revered and feared figure at the same time. It inspired a lot of movies like The Underworld Series, Van Helsing, a whole bunch of horror movies and video games, notable the legendary Castlevania series.
After Twilight, vampires and werewolves became cool again. Pre-teen girls started discussing the practical aspects of losing their virginities to a vampire vs losing it to a werewolf. Vampires became sparkly little boy toys, while werewolves became shirtless hunks. This inspired an entire generation of women to expect their men to love them like bloodsucking vampires because that’s what true love is. Or at least Stephenie Meyer says so.
So as I said, I have tried to be as unbiased as possible. You be the judge. Excuse me while I go and watch ‘Dracula’ for the nth time.