Dracula (1931)

Watching this early Universal horror classic, it’s easy to forget that this movie is almost a century old: From the sets to the atmosphere to the props to the score, every element of Tod Browning’s masterpiece comes together and gradually unspurls, weaving a creepy adaptation of the classic novel that trims the fat without sacrificing imagination or cohesion, displaying an economical approach to filmmaking that keeps things moving briskly. Bela Lugosi’s legendary performance is dated thanks to nearly a century of imitation, but his screen presence is magnetic and remarkably insidious, and it’s easy to see why his reputation has endured as long as it has.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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