Dracula Untold

Rated 1.0

It should have stayed that way. Directed by first-timer Gary Shore and written by first-timers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the movie is a clumsy mash-up of distorted history, CGI demo reels and horror-movie mumbo jumbo in which the 15th century Balkan ruler Vlad Dracula (Luke Evans), in order to protect his realm from invading Turks, makes a desperate bargain with a demon vampire (Charles Dance). This, of course, will eventually turn him into the vampire we all love to fear. The murk of John Schwartzman's cinematography (those nighttime scenes help to stretch a visual effects budget) matches the muddy writing, and the movie overflows with groan-inducing dialogue (did you know that 15th century people said things like “OK”?). A modern-day coda threatens us with a sequel. Quick, where's the garlic