Capping the climax of the film, Abigail’s father finally returns home, and he is, of course, Dracula. He brags that he’s been known by many names, a descriptor often affiliated with characters who reveal themselves to be Satan, which was a delight to see. But even better than the pretty obvious reveal that Abigail is the daughter of Dracula, is the reveal that he’s played by Matthew Goode. There’s a layer of metacasting as Goode played Henry Talbot in “Downton Abbey,” and became the husband of Lady Mary Talbot (nee Crawley) who was married to Dan Stevens’ Matthew Crawley until his character’s death. Had Stevens’ Frank gotten away with his newly-minted vampire plan, this would have been an inverse of the actors’ “Downton Abbey” parental roles.

Dracula is also shown to be somewhat of a negligent father, believing showing up to do the bare minimum is enough, which Abigail rightfully calls out. The aghast look on his face, when Abigail stands up for herself, is absolute perfection. I can only hope there’s additional footage of this performance that we can expect on a Blu-ray release because I would have welcomed plenty more screen time.

Many had speculated that if there was a reveal of Dracula, Radio Silence would have leaned into gimmick casting — like Nic Cage’s “Renfield” Dracula — but Goode is such a compelling Dracula and the perfect choice. He’s got the debonair charm, the piercing eyes, and the screen presence that screams “You are terrified of how bad you want to get close to me, aren’t you?” He’s also the sexy sociopath at the heart of Park Chan-wook’s “Stoker,” and while that’s not a vampire movie, the original “Dracula” was written by Bram Stoker. (IT’S FUN CASTING, LET ME HAVE THIS!)



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