Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dracula Through a Kid’s Eyes

Because she had read the novel, and seen the Coppola version, I finally was able to coax my daughter back to the world of Universal Horror with the original of the main franchise. 
In 1931, it was an instant classic, and a fresh take on horror.

In 2019, it is an extremely early cinematic experience with primitive effects and overblown stage acting magnified by the camera.

I think we’ll be watching more now.

On the addition of the Philip Glass soundtrack:
“I’m glad they added music this would be boring without it.”

On the crowd’s reaction to Renfield admitting to going to see Count Dracula:
“That guy is not okay with his decision. He’s like, ‘What the heck is wrong with you?’”

On the vampire’s connection with wolves:
Anabelle- “Since when?”
Me- “Since all the old vampire legends.  He turned into one in the book”
Anabelle- “Oh yeah.”

On the peasant handing him a cross:
“What does ‘for your mother’s sake’ mean?”

On the first view inside Castle Dracula:
“It’s very boring in here. Or is this just the basement?”

On Dracula’s high collared coachman outfit:
“Wow, he’s killing it with the latest fashions.”

On early Renfield:
“He doesn’t strike me as crazy.”

On Todd Browning’s unusual animal choices:
“Why are armadillos everywhere? I mean, I know why he picked them, because he thought no one knew what they were. But why?  AAAH! POSSUM!”

On further close-ups of Renfield:
“I changed my mind. He does have potential to be scary.”

On the coachman’s disappearance:
“I feel like anyone who’s right on the head wouldn’t just walk in.
‘Oh well, wonder what happened to the driver.  Guess I’ll go in the spooky castle.”

On further interior reveals:
“Castle’s are supposed to be pretty. This is hideous.”
*Renfield calls it cheerful.*
“No. it’s really not.”

On Renfield’s constant questions about his bags:
“Your luggage is never coming back.”

On the “Dramatic hypnotic stare” of Dracula:
“What happened to the lighting?”

On Renfield asking about his bags again:
“What is his obsession with luggage?”

On Dracula’s face when Renfield cuts himself:
*Renfield’s cross falls into view, and the Count reacts*
“Dracula just dabbed.”

On the Count’s transformations into a bat and back as he flies by the window:
“Um…The bat left the other way.”

On Renfield’s change after being affected:
“What is that face he’s making?
Creepiness factor went down again now that he’s not focused on luggage.
He’s not scary, just weird.”

On mishearing the doomed flower girl offer violets “for your buttonhole, sir:”
“Give him a flower for his butthole and get outta there!”

On the introduction of Jonathan Harker:
“The most boring man in existence!”

On Dracula featuring the phrase, “There are worse things awaiting man than death,” when meeting new people:
“Well anyway- have a nice day!”

On every single bat transformation scene:
*hysterical laughter*

On reductions of the story from the Novel:
“Does Johnathan not go to the castle? But that’s the whole thing.
Lucy’s mom is stupid but the most fun character, and she’s not here.
Wait, Lucy died already? Is Van Helsing even in this, because that’s why he’s supposed to come?”

On the attendant who is fed up with Renfield:
“Martin is having none of this today.
He’s my favorite person in this movie”
“Why is Martin dressed like a milkman?”

On Renfield’s reaction to the plant’s smell:
Doctor Seward- “What was that herb that excited him so?”
Anabelle and I- “Weed.”

On the proximity of all the settings in London:
“What is this, a nice cul de sac with an asylum, Dracula’s abandoned abbey, and a random house? That’s convenient.”

On Mina’s odd, formal, drama based word choices:
“Commencing to get drowsy???”

On Harker saying, ”We're going to forget all about these dreams and think about something cheerful, aren't we?:” “Like the fact we cut you out of the movie completely even though you’re the main character.
But it’s okay because you’re boring as dirt.”

On them asking “What caused it?” about Mina’s bites and the maid saying, “Count Dracula,” as he conveniently enters at that moment:
“Oh he’s there. I thought she was a very educated maid.”

On Mina’s blasé reactions to all the horrors around her:
“She doesn’t seem to shook that Lucy died yesterday.”

On the count smacking down the mirror Van Helsing thrusts in his face:
“Dracula does not like selfies.”

On Harker’s fashion sense when he asks, “What’s that running across the lawn?” of Dracula in wolf form”
“Maybe it’s the rest of your pants."

On Jonathan saying vampires only exist in ghost stories:
“Um…No. Vampire stories.”

On Jonathan’s role hampered by 1930’s conventions:
“Harker is more useless in this one than the book. And that’s difficult.”

On Renfield’s multiple escapes:
“He’s loose again? This is a horrible asylum.”

On Renfield claiming Dracula parted the mists that were like a flame of fire:
Anabelle- “Like Moses.”
Renfield- “and I could see that there were thousands of rats with their eyes blazing red like his only smaller."
Anabelle- “Never mind.”

On Van Helsing stating he will have Carfax abbey excavated a mile around:
“They can’t do that. They’ll hit the asylum. It’s right there.”

On Mina complaining about being shut in with the smell of “that horrible weed:”
“I know some people thrilled to be locked in a room full of weed.”

On Jonathan’s mid-sentence change talking to Mina about the stars:
‘Why, it looks as though you could reach out and touch them.
Would you like me to get your hat?:”
“Y’know what would help with all this vampire stuff? … A hat!”

On Martin blasting away at Dracula in bat form with his shotgun:
“I love him.
Shoot it out of the sky! Woo! Free milk for everyone!"

On Briggs being hypnotized to remove the wolfsbane:
“Time to be moving the weed. Gonna go smoke it.”

On the climax of chasing the Lord of the Vampires:
“I’m like the furthest from frightened I could ever be.”

On Van Helsing opening Dracula’s coffin:
“Why did he not wake up? He’s sleeping. They SLEEP during the day.”

On Dracula being dispatched with a stake off camera:
“Oh, beautiful.”

On Mina’s final run out of the Castle:
“Frolic frolic. She’s worse than Legolas.”

On me explaining the acting that it was basically a filmed stage play:
“Is that why nobody ever looked at each other?”

On her overall reaction:
“That was hysterical! Greatest movie ever! Would recommend!
Are the other ones all like this? Frankenstein was boring. The Bride was okay.
This was beautiful.”

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