Back on familiar grounds...
Rich in texture and low on saturated color, this is another high ambiance sequel in Hammer’s series of Dracula re-imagining. The first half is set up for us to apprehend a situation we already know will occur but that our protagonists aren't in on. To them, Dracula is probably just a legend. They’re scared of a creepy house and we, on the other hand, expect a vampire to show up.
Christopher Lee plays Dracula. A complex effect brings him back to life and the justification behind it is clever in what it brings to the plot. He once again plays a vampire that runs around and strangles his victims. He is lean, fast, and aggressive. Once again, he is merely given a few lines of dialogue to make his magic happen and is depicted as rough and physical rather than esoteric.
You feel stranded because the characters are, either stuck in the woods or confined in a fully furnished distant ruin. The film is surreal, emotionally absent, but somehow you always feel right there with the characters. In the end, one might wonder why there isn't more vampire action, though. Dialogue is where you lose those precious minutes, but this is Hammer’s way of laying out movies.