Created by: Bram Stoker
Directed by: Bill Eagles
Written by: Stewart Harcourt
Other cast: Marc Warren, David Suchet, Stephanie Leonidas, Dan Stevens, Rafe Spall, Tom Burke
Release date: 28 December 2006 (UK), 11 February 2007 (US)
Running time: 90 min
Lord Holmwood (Dan Stevens) is due to marry his sweetheart, Lucy (Sophia Myles), but hides a terrible secret – he has syphilis, so cannot consummate the marriage without infecting his bride. His determination to find a cure leads him to a legendary being with extraordinary powers – Count Dracula (Marc Warren). It’s not long before he realises what a terrible evil he’s unleashed, and has to call on the vampire scholar, Abraham Van Helsing (David Suchet) to help him rid the world of his nemesis.
The plot is about Arthur Holmwood’s efforts to cure the syphilis with which he was born and which killed his father. Arthur learns the truth soon after becoming engaged to Lucy Westenra. He contacts an occult group called the Brotherhood led by a man named Singleton. They say they can indeed clean his polluted blood, but at a price. Lucy’s best friend is Mina Murray. Her fiancee, Jonathan Harker, has just passed his solicitor’s exams. Arthur hires his firm to convey several properties in England, with Jonathan himself to bring the documents to Count Dracula in Transylvania. Not long after Jonathan leaves, his boss is murdered and all documents about the transaction vanish. Singleton calmly admits to the deed, telling Arthur the “young man” will never return from Transylvania.
In Transylvania, Jonathan meets Dracula, but survives only long enough to attract Dracula’s attention to Mina. Energized by Jonathan’s blood, Dracula is soon en route to England aboard the Demeter. A newly married Lucy watches the wreck of the ship as it arrives in a storm. With her is Mina, visiting Holmwood Castle in Whitby so the two friends can comfort each other.
The Demeter seemingly contains nothing but its dead captain and some cargo. Mina and Lucy both meet a stranger, Count Dracula, at a nearby graveyard. Arthur, enraged to find Dracula in his home (invited by Lucy for dinner), finds himself powerless as Lucy suddenly falls victim to the vampire. Arthur’s old friend, Dr. Seward, suspects Arthur is somehow involved when he refuses to take Lucy to the hospital and forces Seward at gunpoint to give her a blood transfusion. Lucy dies and Seward is convinced Arthur is in some sense guilty.
Seward investigates and finds the Chelsea home of the Brotherhood, where Singleton and others have been murdered. In the basement, surrounded by crosses made of twigs, he finds Van Helsing living like an animal, insisting they must flee at once.
Having escaped, Van Helsing explains that he was employed as a folklorist by the Brotherhood to investigate vampires. He found one, and was released with a message to the Brotherhood. The vampire would come to them if invited but wanted property. Frightened of what happened to Van Helsing they sent an innocent (Harker) and locked Van Helsing away.
Seward confronts Arthur and the truth comes out. As the three go after Lucy (presumably a vampire now), Dracula manages to get to Mina as she lets her cross slip. He is about to bite when Arthur stakes and kills his now-undead bride. Dracula feels it, allowing Mina to escape.
Mina now joins them as all four go to Singleton’s home. In the cellar, they confront Dracula who brutally kills Arthur by tearing his head off. Seward manages to stake Dracula from behind. Van Helsing panics, asking if he got the heart and Seward confirms he did. The vampire melts away. The film ends with Van Helsing returning to Holland, pleased with their victory. He bids Seward and Mina farewell. Mina has said her final goodbye to Jonathan, with a hint that she may have a future with Seward.
One of London’s countless beggars looks up as the two of them pass, revealed to be the withered Dracula of the beginning.
Sophia plays Lucy Westenra
After finishing filming ‘Dracula’ Sophia Myles painted one of the rooms in her flat blood-red, a colour she had seen on set. But reportedly, it looked as if a mental outpatient had started a bloodbath in the flat the next morning and she had to get the professionals in.
Sophia missed the ‘Art School Confidential’ screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival because she was filming ‘Dracula’.
Quotes from Reviews
The object of that sexual desire is a credible Sophia Myles, who still looks sexy even when she becomes orthdontically challenged.
Western Morning News, The Plymouth
Sophia Myles was excellent as Lucy, conflicted by her love of her cold husband and her own sexual needs which are aroused by the mysterious count.
Quotes from Sophia
It’s very lavish and sexy in a way I don’t think the BBC has seen before.
Lucy is 21 and ripe for the picking. She’s sexually confident and hungry for sexual exploration. I didn’t have any confidence when I was her age, whereas Lucy loves the fact that she has blossomed into a woman. So when her husband won’t sleep with her, she develops a wandering eye.