|Starring:||Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, and Edward Van Sloan|
Browning’s version of this story follows Bram Stoker’s book relatively close. Every film adaptation of Stoker’s book differentiates from the source material a great deal, so that is to be expected. The original story was told mainly through journal entries and news stories and being honest, it makes for a relatively dry read. Browning’s story introduces all of the right characters, even if it switches around their importance, and gets the main focus of the plot right. Ultimately the movie focuses on Dracula, Mina, and Van Helsing. While the wheel isn’t reinvented with this adaptation, the story remains strong, and the film does a nice job of developing the characters as well as the tension behind this familiar story. If anything, this particular version of the Dracula mythos is only hindered by its own popularity. Most viewers, like myself, are already so well aware of the beats of this story that they might actually have trouble being as involved in the story as its original audience was. However, this is hardly a fault of the movie.