'Dracula 2012' lives up to its genre - horror - and turns out to be one of the scariest films that I have had the opportunity to watch till date. It scares you senseless with one absurdity after another tucked up neatly in tow, absolutely outrageous dialogues and a brain battering story.
One thing that you had never even imagined in the wildest of your horror fantasy is that Count Dracula would make his way to India; Kerala to be more specific and would start speaking in Malayalam. He does the unthinkable in Vinayan's new film, that is the kind that would make you pull out your hair and shred it to bits.
Roy (Sudhir Sukumaran), on his honeymoon visits the Bran Castle in Romania, and leaving his newly wed wife in the hotel room, manages to venture deep into the fortress, where he invokes the long quenched spirit of the Count. Dracula makes an appearance in the form of a demon, and before Roy can count up to three, surges into his body, murders his wife Lucy who has been leisurely whiling away her time in a bath tub while her husband had gone missing, books a ticket for Kerala and lands in God's own Country, on the lookout for lovely Mallu belles.
He isn't in for a disappointment, as one pretty lass after the other gets smitten by his magnetic gaze and succumbs to his mysterious charms. Dracula cannot believe his fortune, as he has a gala time drinking gallons of blood from their smooth throats. The biggest surprise ever awaits you when Dracula comes across Meena (Monal Gajjar) and finds out that she is the princess for whom he had turned a vampire in the first place. "Princess Meena", we are told, had given up her life centuries back in Romania, thinking that her dear Lord Dracula was no more.
The characterization is plain awful, and leading the pack is Meena's sister Taara (Priya Nambiar). The very first time you see her dressed up in a hotter-than-the-Thar-desert costume that would make you reach out for your oxygen masks, and then realize with a shudder that she is reading ancient scriptures! Oh no, someone murmurs beside you, as she reveals herself to be a spiritual guru of sorts who has been researching quite a lot on evil spirits. And since her father has gone on a pilgrimage to Badrinath, the poor thing has to do the poojas as well, as skimpily clad as ever!
A few minutes later we hear Dracula himself voicing our thoughts and asking her if she isn't a bit too modernly dressed for her yogini avatar! Pat comes the reply from the wise mouth, that you need to change with the times, irrespective of the profession that you are in. And as if to prove a point, she breaks into an item number with a few surprised looking snakes around, that slither away in no time sensing that something simply isn't right.
The women fall dead all around the Count, left right and center, and transported into a deathless existence, whatever that means! So we have Betty, who ends up dead in an elevator, Lucy who makes reappearance in Kerala wearing a knee length white frock, now that she is the Count's lady, and the rest of them making a beeline to be bitten by those sparkling white vampire fangs.
I would really want to mention two other characters - the sorcerer (Nassar) and the psychiatrist (Prabhu) - who get to mouth some of the funniest lines against cymbals crashing away, that would make you grip your stomach lest it burst from laughter. In one real hilarious scene, Raju (Aryan) and the shrink go hunting for Dracula with Meena serving as the GPS in the car, offering driving directions towards the vampire.
In another scene two Bishops arrive at the crime scene in Kerala all the way from Romania, and we shake our heads in approval giggling away, until one of them opens his mouth and reveals that Romania is too far a place for him to be. Koothattukulam, maybe, but Romania? No way!
To be be fair to the Count, Sudhir Sukumaran does look impressive with a nicely toned torso and the gelled hair adding to his countenance. The growls and the snarls could be worked upon of course, and so can the facial expressions which have mostly been limited to menacing grimaces. The ladies serve as eye candy, as they are expected to be.
Technically, the 3D effects are quite notable, with drinks, arrows and what not thrown at your face. The shrubs and twigs that brush against your face initially are appealing, but they irk you in no time. There is nothing much to crow about the music either, and the lyrics pedestrian. And the bottom line remains that in cinema technique would always be secondary to what it intends to lay across the table to its viewers.
I don't know about others, but I do believe that Dracula could well have risen from his grave. And the reasons, as you see, are quite obvious.