BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Bram Stoker’s Dracula ★★★★
9.00-11.30pm Film Four
This is so called not to distinguish it from, let us say, William Shakespeare’s Dracula, but because, unlike its predecessors, Francis Coppola’s film does sort of follow the novel. The result, as the action switches floridly back and forth between a creepy castle in Transylvania and fogbound 19th-century London, is a feast of gory Gothic horror. Gary Oldman is Dracula, aka Vlad the Impaler, still yearning for his 400-years-dead wife; Keanu Reeves the young estate agent, who visits him in Transylvania (Why? Don’t ask) and whose fiancée Winona Ryder is the spitting image of the late Mrs Vlad. So there’s your plot: Dracula out to sink his teeth into Ryder’s lily-white throat to make her his own and vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) out to stop him. The cast is good. There’s plenty of sinister and sexual shenanigans and, though Coppola doesn’t make much effort to engage us emotionally, it’s all splendid to look at.
Fright Night ★★★
12 midnight-1.40am BBC2
Anton Yelchin is the suburban kid convinced next-door-neighbour Colin Farrell is a vampire – and he’s not wrong – in a slick exercise in the horror genre that plays up the campier elements.
A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★★
10.00pm-12 midnight Dave
Johnny Depp gets a small part and Freddy Krueger makes his debut in the Wes Craven horror classic about teenagers being killed by a creature who invades their dreams.
The Sixth Sense ★★★★★
Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment have encounters of a very spooky kind in writer/director M Night Shyamalan’s immensely successful supernatural thriller.
You’re Next ★★★★
11.30pm-1.20am Film Four
A well-to-do family is subjected to home invasion of a most gruesome sort in an indie shocker with a few neat twists up its sleeve.
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