Netflix “Dracula” review: A tale of 3 episodes
The streaming giant has come out swinging in 2020. There really is too much, so we’ve cherry-picked the shows that interest us most. Next up, is a review of the Dracula miniseries available now on Netflix.
Two things to know about this review:
- We aim to be 100% spoiler-free.
- We watched the whole series, not just an episode like other websites.
On to the review.
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If it were only one episode
Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat deliver a show that spans three episodes, ranging from good to awful in that order.
Episode 1, titled “The Rules of the Beast,” is the best by far. The BBC clearly spent big and despite not having a well-known cast, the acting is fantastic throughout. Dolly Wells in particular, as Sister Agatha is a standout with some fantastic lines.
What makes Episode 1 good is that it is everything that makes Sherlock and Dracula fun. It’s smart, witty, and gruesome. The storyline, albeit predictable in its path is intriguing enough to keep you watching for the whole 88 minutes.
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Episode 2: Stuck in limbo
On paper the second episode sounds perfect. It’s called “Blood Vessel” and has Dracula traveling by boat. It could be the perfect combination of horror and mystery — but it stumbles over itself clumsily.
Rest assured, it has the Gothic style, brilliant production value and strong acting like in Episode 1. The stumbling comes from the dialogue and a story that is stuck between trying to be too funny, intelligent, mysterious and scary all at once. In the end, it meanders as if seasick (or drunk) without ever staking claim of any of the four.
The second episode features numerous cringe-worthy moments, too many flippant quips and a Sherlock-style ending that’s clunky. It’s as if the end were nailed on in an attempt to conclude in typical Gatiss and Moffat fashion.
Despite the negatives, about half of the episode is good.
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Third time: Terrible
Episode 3 (“The Dark Compass”) is so bad it should have been canned mid-production and never released.
Everything good in the first two episodes is tarnished. That Gothic style, the tone, and mood? All abandoned for a modern setting. Worst still, the stumbling in Episode 2 completely takes over, wrecking any plot coherence and acting along with it.
Simply put, the only way Episode 3 could be considered a success would be if it had the goal of making you hate everything about this miniseries. It really is that bad.
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Dracula verdict: Kill
- Streaming on Netflix
- Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat
- Starring Claes Bang, Dolly Wells, and Jonathan Aris
Sharpen that stake. Get that garlic ready. Let all the light in. It’s time to kill Dracula.
Within the 264 minutes Dracula runs for, there is a brilliant 140ish minute show. My personal recommendation is to watch Episode 1, avoid Episode 3, and flip a coin over Episode 2.
Watching the last episode changed my perspective on the show. I went from binge, to chill, to kill per episode watched. It’s surprising, but the train wreck of a third episode derails the whole show.
If this Netflix Dracula review could just judge it on 1.5 episodes of the miniseries, then it would be binge-worthy. However, it’s a review that needs to look at all episodes and because of that, it gets our worst rating: kill.