Tag: Dracula

January 23, 2014 / / Main Slate

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Years ago, the Brattle lined up a night of Universal horror films.  It was James Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, followed by THE WOLF MAN.  I was in monster-kid heaven settling down in my regular balcony seat.  FRANKENSTEIN started, ended, and left the audience in quiet reflection.  As DRACULA started I was beside myself as it has always held a place in my heart as one of my favorite films.  My excitement dissolved into heartbreak as the audience started to laugh.  They were not nervously laughing at Renfield’s possessed performance to break the tension, or at the teasing relationship between Mina and Lucy; they were laughing at the film itself.  What would cause the audience to treat this early horror masterpiece like some silly B-movie?  Was I so overwhelmed with nostalgia for the film that I failed to see it with modern eyes?  Clearly an investigation was needed to find the reception disruption between me and everyone else in the theater that night.