As far as horror book to movie adaptations go, Dracula, just as Frankenstein, has been done and redone in numerously. However, the newer Netflix series adaptation, titled simply Dracula as well, is being called a fantastic rendition. It begins in 1893 in Hungary as one man sits in with two nuns, reporting that he has been fleeing from someone he refers to as the Devil himself, potentially implying the infamous vampire character of myth and folklore.
The man’s name is Mr. Harker and as he behaves highly unusually from the start, prompting immediate questions on his well-being, relationship to Count Dracula, and Dracula’s influence on him so far. Is he a vampire himself now, or does this adaptation also find new ways to mix up the narrative of cunning seduction and vampire transition?
Mr. Harker has reportedly fled Transylvania with a large set of papers accounting for his time in Transylvania. The report front page giving one word, Dracula, is all the audience is allowed to see at the start before it transitions to a bright red title sequence hinting of blood-pumping action to come. His apparent fiance, Mina, like Dracula, is unseen at the start.
The nuns insist on learning deeply of Harker’s time with Dracula, whether they had intimate relations, as well as to know the full honesty of their dinners, conversations, and intimate moments altogether. You wonder as well here what the nature of Dracula’s effect on the wider society and larger groups of civilians has been up to this time as well, apparently prompting such fervent inquiry from specific characters as nuns.
From the nuns, the story proceeds to backpedal to Harker’s time with Dracula in its time. So far, Dracula is aged, living in a stone castle, and looking forward to continuing a close relationship with Harker toward acquiring new property in England where he’ll move, Transylvania reportedly lacking sufficient flavor and openness in its people. Many aspects of their story have yet to be discovered in watching, such as the mysteries of Dracula’s consistent reverse aging throughout Harker’s stay, the labyrinthian and everchanging castle, and the continued sights of other horrifying characters and creatures throughout it.
So far this adaptation somehow retains originality amongst so many other movies and series depicting this infamous horror character. Some vampire tropes are still upheld but just as entertaining here, however, including the mysterious presence of numerous bats on the property, Dracula’s aversion to sunlight and inhuman speed, and vulnerability to the thirst he just barely contains at times, especially in the close continued presence of Harker. Only the episodes can continue to reveal their story and whether or not Count Dracula was able to resist.