Exorcising the vampire
There’s always a good reason to return to Castle Dracula and a murder investigation qualifies as much as any of the previous procedurals as backbone for the story arc. The protagonists of the previous sequels have had various professions, implicating them in the intrigue for different reasons. This time, it’s up to a monsignor and a priest to take the lead.
Through use of magnificent environmental matte painting, the castle is made to be some distant, unattainable location. In the previous installments, a road would get you there. There is a sense of mystery and adventure in the first act and the protagonists are presented as heroes. You get the classic Hammer photography: a lot of brown, low saturation and few black areas.
There is an elaborated subplot involving an impossible love situation between a catholic and an atheist, both well played, and it eventually nicely ties in with the horror. There is a wind of change in the social tone of the townsfolk who used to be depicted as rigid. They are more cheerful and frivolous. Leading characters were rarely this relatable, as far as Dracula films go.