Review: ‘Dracula – Prince of Darkness’

Four inquistive tourists are lured to Castle Dracula, met by a sinister butler and invited to dinner and to stay the night. The four treat this strange hospitality with incredibly bland acceptance. One of them (Charles Tingwell), wandering the castle at night, is killed and his blood used to reinfuse life into the Dracula ashes. Dracula then plunges his fangs into the neck of the corpse's wife, turning her into a vampire and the two are then arrayed against the other pair in the party.

Four inquistive tourists are lured to Castle Dracula, met by a sinister butler and invited to dinner and to stay the night. The four treat this strange hospitality with incredibly bland acceptance. One of them (Charles Tingwell), wandering the castle at night, is killed and his blood used to reinfuse life into the Dracula ashes. Dracula then plunges his fangs into the neck of the corpse’s wife, turning her into a vampire and the two are then arrayed against the other pair in the party.

This simple yarn [from an idea by John Elder (= Anthony Hinds)] is played reasonably straight and the main snag is that the thrills do not arise sufficiently smooth out of atmosphere. After a slowish start some climate of eeriness is evoked but more shadows, suspense and suggestion would have helped. Christopher Lee, an old hand at the horror business, makes a latish appearance but dominates the film enough without dialog.

Dracula - Prince of Darkness

UK

Production

Hammer/Seven Arts. Director Terence Fisher; Producer Anthony Nelson-Keys; Screenplay John Sansom, Anthony Hinds; Camera Michael Reed; Editor Chris Barnes, James Needs; Music James Bernard; Art Director Bernard Robinson

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Christopher Lee Barbara Shelley Andrew Keir Francis Matthews Suzan Farmer Charles Tingwell
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