Note: this is a spoiler-free review of Castlevania, which is available to stream now on Netflix.
Whether animated or live-action, Hollywood has a stunningly poor track record when it comes to adapting popular video game franchises to film and television. Even last year’s Assassin’s Creed, which seemed like the perfect storm of director, actors and source material, became just another in a long line of duds. Yet every once in a while, you have something like Castlevania come along to remind us that this genre isn’t inherently doomed.
Based on the long-running series of supernatural action games, Castlevania features all the tropes one would expect. Vlad Dracula Tepes (voiced by Preacher and Outlander’s Graham McTavish) has returned and unleashed a horde of demonic monsters against the peasants and clergymen of 15th Century Wallachia, and only a ragtag band of monster hunters that includes disgraced nobleman Trevor Belmont (The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage), magician/scholar Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso) and Dracula’s half-breed son Alucard (Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis) have the power to restore peace to the land. While the series offers its own take on the Castlevania mythos, it draws most heavily from 1990’s Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.
Author: Jesse Schedeen