It's actually pretty good. It's not another run-of-the-mill, you know what's going to happen, love story of a vampire movie. It follows a little more closely to the real history of Vlad the Impaler. He's the one the Dracula stories were originally based on.
His only desire is to save his family, especially his son from the tyrannical rule of the Turkish King. He doesn't want his son to face the same fate of being turned into a mindless killer who will obey any order without hesitation. To save his wife from the heartache of having her son taken from her. And to save his kingdom from having to give up their sons as well. His heart was in the right place. His method for achieving the power necessary to accomplish his goals, however, may be questionable. He strikes a deal with what should be the first Dracula. The original vampire. In return, he has 3 days to destroy the Turks. Battle after battle, you follow his dire and dark conquests. You root for him to win!
There were some things that I wasn't impressed with. Especially with a scene at the end that was dragged out when it should have been cut short with fantastic action. But every movie has its flaws, right? They don't explain why silver is dangerous to the vampires. So unless you are familiar with the other versions of Dracula, you probably wouldn't know the connection that has been made to Judas Iscariot.
The story of the real Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, is quite an interesting one. He didn't use fangs to bite the necks of his victims to drain their blood. He instead impaled them, collected the blood and dipped his bread into it. Talk about psychopath of the olden times.... He avenged his fathers betrayal and death by slaughtering hundreds of the noblemen.
"Dracula" means "Son of the Dragon". Vlad III chose to be called that. His father had been a member of a secret society called the Order of the Dragon. His father, being proud of this, changed his name to Dracul which was Romanian for Dragon. Vlad III was involved with this Order as a child and changed his name to Dracula, or the Son of the Dragon. Now, however, the translation is closer to the Son of the Devil. This is where the belief that vampires were devils or minions of Satan came into play.
Vlad had a cruel and dark sense of humor. There are accounts of how he enjoyed impaling and boiling people alive. He liked watching them twitch "like frogs". These two punishments were his only forms of punishment throughout his rule.
He wanted to "clean" up his capitol, Tirgoviste. So he invited the sick, vagrants, and beggars for a feast. Then he had the court where they dined boarded up and set fire to the place. This was how he dealt with the unwanted people around his kingdom.
His rule was so undisputed and feared, that he left an elaborate golden cup in plain view in the town square. Anyone could drink from it, however, it could not leave the square. Though poverty plagued the people, no one dared to even touch it. Fear was truly deep within the hearts of his people.
He couldn't handle any form of defeat. So when the Turks pushed his armies back into retreat, he burned villages, killed the townspeople, and poisoned the wells. Better that he do it himself than let the Turkish army have the satisfaction, right? In total, historians believe that Dracula killed somewhere from 40,000 up to 100,000 people. By the time the Turks got to the capitol of Tirgoviste, there was a Forest of the Impaled. 20,000 bodies of Turks were on display. Men, women, children, old and young alike were not spared.
Bram Stoker invented quite a character when he chose to write Dracula. He used the stories of Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad III, Vlad the Impaler) as well as the other vampire stories that were written before he even set pen to paper. Carmilla was the more original vampire. A lesbian who preyed on lonely young women and bathed in their blood. Varney the Vampire was another penny dreadful series that Stoker could draw inspiration from.
Hope you enjoy the movie! And take the time to do your own research when you watch things based on historical events!
Some facts used in this informative posting: http://listverse.com/2013/01/26/10-fascinating-facts-about-the-real-dracula/