48 Scares of Casper #48

Well, it’s about time. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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31 Days of Dracula | Hotel Transylvania (2012)

On the most recent episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, Stephen Thompson talks about how Halloween children’s entertainment has lately been mostly about demystifying monsters by presenting them as the good guys. To be fair, Anne Rice kind of started that whole deal, but Thompson is right and Hotel Transylvania is the worse for it. Beyond how difficult it is to get past Adam Sandler sounding exactly like Adam Sandler doing a Lugosi accent, it’s also tough to see everyone’s favorite vampire seriously afraid of humans.

If you can deal with that though, there’s a nice story in Hotel Transylvania about being a domineering parent or just a control freak in general. And in a very broad way, domination and control-issues seem like appropriate character traits to make a comedic Dracula have to deal with. It’s also a very funny movie and does a great job of creating a believable world that’s fun to spend time in. For all the Adam Sandlerness of it, it’s also a Genndy Tartakovsky film. You can see those aspects duking it out onscreen, but for me, Tartakovsky wins and I ultimately enjoyed the movie. Depending on the strength of your feelings about the two men, your mileage may vary.

31 Days of Dracula | All-Action Classics (2008)

Ben Caldwell’s version of Dracula may just be my favorite representation yet. He strikes just the right balance between seductive and menacing. I’ve never seen anyone pull that off before. As we’ve seen this month, the Count is usually either horrendous and disfigured or he’s dapper and handsome. Caldwell’s design with its switch-thin frame and terrible, crooked teeth leans toward the horrendous, but Dracula’s body language conveys a confident, powerful, compelling presence. Caldwell’s Dracula can seduce, but it’s a seduction based on the vampire’s awful will rather than romance.

The lettering in All-Action Classics: Dracula helps with this image too. The tails on Dracula’s word balloons don’t point straight at him like everyone else’s in the book. They curl and wind, suggesting a silky, hypnotic voice.

Seriously, if you consider yourself a fan of the character and Bram Stoker’s novel, do yourself a favor and check out this version.