#54 -- Dracula (1931)

Director: Tod Browning
Rating: 4 / 5

"Children of the night, what music they make."

This movie was a giant stepping stone in the horror genre. Not only was it the first horror movie with sound, but Count Dracula has become the most famous vampire known to man. And it's no wonder why. With his simplicity, he is far more frightening than most vampires we see today. His bulging eyes strike fear into the hearts of us all. 

Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) travels to London, along with his servant. On the way, the crew of the ship is killed, and the Count's servant left a raving lunatic. He believes that he needs the blood of the living in order to sustain his own life. Whether or not the Count has transformed him, I'm not sure. He is admitted to an asylum.

Count Dracula meets Ms. Mina while in London, and it appears that he has taken a liking to her. It seems that he wishes to make her his bride, because seeks her out every chance he gets. He stalks her home and torments all those around her. I can't figure out who is scarier: Count Dracula or his creepy servant. With the servant's bug-eyes and maniacal laughter, it's a close call. 

Dracula finally gets to Ms. Mina, and everyone keeps a close eye on her, though she claims that she feels better than she's ever felt in her life. And she seems to be craving the blood of her fiance, Mr. Harker. Dracula takes her back to his castle, where he sleeps the day away. Mina is out and about, and Professor Helsing (who is bound and determined to kill the Count) drives a stake through Dracula's heart. Mina clutches at her chest as if she is in pain, claims that the Count almost killed her, and retreats with her fiance. I'm not sure if they only wanted us to believe that she'd been transformed, or if, in killing Count Dracula, her vampire-ism was cured. 

A lot of people have problems with watching classic movie such as this, but I'm not sure why. It is their simplicity which makes them terrifying. They don't try too incredibly hard to scare us, but they deliver the goods nonetheless. These movies are beautifully made (once you look past the bats on strings), simple, and horrifying in their own right. If you're a big horror fan, these are a must. You cannot truly appreciate what the genre has become unless you take a look at where it came from.

Vampires have changed a lot since the early days. But whether they're big, vicious and monstrous or shiny, whiny and romantic, they are nothing compared to Count Dracula.

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