British estate agent Renfield travels to Transylvania to meet with the mysterious Count Dracula, who is interested in leasing a castle in London and is, unbeknownst to Renfield, a vampire. After Dracula enslaves Renfield and drives him to insanity, the pair sail to London together, and as Dracula begins preying on London socialites, the two become the subject of study for a supernaturalist professor, Abraham Van Helsing.
Though not my very favourite movie about the infamous vampire, this is quite beautiful, well-told and gorgeously photographed (I really can't wait to see the blu!) and is most probably Bela Lugosi's finest hour (though I love his work; and it's also right up there with the greatest-ever vampiric depictions on celluloid), and it has genuine scares. Lugosi not only growls and snarls but also delivers the succulent seductive power of both evil itself and immortality--no matter what devastating consequences that immortal life may truly mean. Essential for both horror fanatics and fans of early (up to and including the 30's) cinema to own on the highest-possible quality, and regular re-watches. It's simply THAT GOOD. The fact that its American release date was Valentine's Day (its New York City premiere was two days earlier) only further hits home the fact that its immortality is due to the fact that it isn't simply a cornerstone of Gothic horror but with a vibrant love story at its very heart.
Probably my third or fourth time seeing this and while the story is simple, still really entertaining and Bela Lugosi, who even as a favorite of mine acknowledge was never the strongest actor, is in his element. Also has some decent effects and nice set design for the era. **4.0/5**
"The blood is the life, Mr. REINFIELD" At three years old this was my first horror movie. My great-grandmother is the one who sat me down and showed me great Bela Lugosi as Dracula. This entire movie is timeless and classic. The very best of all the Universal horrors. No one could be a more perfect Dracula than Bela Lugosi. To accomplish so much with just a stare. No special effects. No fangs... yet he chilled you to the bone and enthralled all. One of my all-time favorites. Classic Cinema perfection.