Dracula couldn't be with us...
With its beautiful sets, both interior and exterior at once, populated with stained-glass windows, antiquities and tapestry, with its surreal blocking and the particular way it treats its characters, this sequel lacks only one element but a significant one. Christopher Lee isn’t returning. Horror franchises rely on their antagonists more than their protagonists, so this is somewhat a spin-off.
Regardless, the film pulls it off. It manages to be decent, considering Dracula’s dead. It is structured similarly to the original and redeems its continuity holes by bringing back the earlier look and feel. The sets are lit and built like a vertical maze to immerse the viewer in extended scenes of disorienting chases or dialog. The Brides of Dracula’s theatrical approach is fascinating.
Peter Cushing reprises his role from the previous film and carries the film. He’s the lead and he is still a strong, influential presence. Once again, the third act is really what you’re in for. It’s filled with effects and stunts. By Hammer tradition, the vampire is more physical than ethereal. It fights and runs around like humans do and has more weaknesses than strengths, ironically...