Rommended with Extreme Caution. Okay, if you don’t like horror films, you won’t like this formula horror flick. But if you don’t like horror, then you should read my article, “A Theology of Horror Films”.
Anyway, the reason why I recommend Dracula 2000 for the strong of stomach is because it has a strong Christian theme. That’s right. You heard what I said. And not merely a nice “moral theme” but a blatant Christian concept of redemption. It is a return to the origins of modern horror that E. Michael Jones writes about in his excellent book, Monsters From the Id. Here is what I wrote to someone about this book: “I wanted to recommend Monsters from the Id by E. Michael Jones. It is a brilliant book about the origins of modern horror as a reaction to the Enlightenment worldview (unconscious or conscious) with its rejection of the supernatural and the worship of science with the elevation of man’s “natural” impulses. His historical context of Mary Shelly and Byron is really quite illuminating in proving his premise. And his explanation of how religion fits in is also poignant. His take is a bit different from yours. Rather than the “sacred” creating the monster, it is the “negation of the sacred” that does so. That is why the sacred is usually part of the solution. The crucifix (sacred) protects against the vampire, MacNeils’ naturalism (in The Exorcist) makes her defenseless in the face of real supernatural, so it is her lack of the sacred that makes her family prey. Rosemary’s lack of a sacred understanding of evil (In Rosemary’s Baby) makes her prey as well. Even the point of 28 Days Later is that the zombies are a metaphor for the lack of civilization and order within the modern social/nationalist mindset (the testosterone military men are no different than the zombies in their bloodlust).
Jones points out that the Enlightenment rejection of the supernatural and the exaltation of man’s primary urges and scientific hubris create Frankenstein, Dracula, Hyde and Jekyll, and even surprisingly so, Cronenberg’s monsters. And Frankenstein was really an expression of Shelly’s own horror in her life. Even many of the slasher films illustrate the residue of this Enlightenment created monster that wreaks havoc. It is the rejection of the sacred order that creates these monsters, not the sacred itself. That is why the promiscuous kids die and the virgin often lives. Of course, this is mostly relevant to traditional horror, and can break down in current horror, like Scream that deliberately defy convention. But I found his thesis rather rich in understanding and breadth.”
So, if you don’t want the major plot point twist to be spoiled, then don’t read on…
What is so great about the movie is that Dracula is revealed to be the undead soul of Judas Iscariot prowling the earth in vengeance against his own perdition. His unsatiable lust for blood, the blood he cannot have in Jesus’ blood of forgiveness, the silver abhorrance, a reflection of the 30 pieces he betrayed for, and of course, crosses and wooden stakes through the heart as elements of the cross of Christ. It is brilliant and a reminder of what I wrote above, that horror should be the result of rejecting the truth of God. Unfortunately much postmodern horror defies these conventions. And I must say, that this brings me to The Addiction, a true Christian themed vampire movie, even better than Dracula 2000, one of my top five favorites. But be careful here, because it too is not for the squeamish. But it uses vampirism as the perfect metaphor for man’s total sinful depravity. Sin is the addiction. Anyway, it is interesting to note that Wes Craven, the producer of Dracula 2000 went to Wheaton College and has a Christian background from which he has most likely fallen. So it is revealing that he, like Paul Shrader and others, tend to reach into their Christian past to draw out images and concepts.