Review

Plot: The last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself.

Review: I just want to put on the record that Castlevania IV for the SNES is my favourite video game of all time. I loved the mythology, the monsters, the whip cracking Belmont hero and most importantly the music. It was always key in creating the gothic atmosphere and was my favourite element. There have been many games in the series since, all of which have had their merits but Castlevania IV was just the best for me; incidentally this series is actually based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse with nods to a few of the other games.

A few years back James Wan was attached to a live action adaptation of Castlevania and I waited with bated breath but sadly it never came to fruition. Imagine my excitement when I heard Netflix were going to do an animated series in the vein of Game of Thrones; I sat down and watched all 4 episodes in one sitting last night which wasn’t tough as they were only 20 minutes each.

I’m going to have to say that I’ve never been a fan of Anime but it really worked in creating the visual style for the Castlevania series. The reds used to create the bloodlike skies and generally apocalyptic world really had the feel of the Castlevania videogame universe. There is a scene in episode 4 where Trevor is jumping over cogs as they are collapsing which is straight out the game and frankly executed to perfection.

Richard Armitage is fabulously sarcastic as Trevor Belmont, the reluctant hero who just wants to eat and drink after his family was excommunicated from the church and exiled from their homeland of Wallachia. When he comes across a small town besieged by demons sent by Dracula (who is rightfully pissed after his wife is turned into a hotdog) Trevor has to ask himself if he can just walk away or will he stand and fight the creatures of the night…

What surprised me most about this series was the amount of humour, mostly from Belmont’s sardonic one liners. The tone manages to mix horror and comedy well without ever slipping into parody which is tough to do. This is also very much adult oriented with plenty of swearing and violence too so if you have young children be sure to sit them down to watch it and teach them a thing or two about life. Although a little talky at times, when the action does kick in it’s definitely filled with R rated goodness with eyeballs and other body parts being cut off at regular intervals.

So what about the all-important music? Well, it’s okaaay but I was expecting something a bit more interesting and epic. There’s no memorable theme tune and despite the odd cool choral moment it’s actually quite disappointing and arguably the weakest element of the show.

Overall, Castlevania is only 4 episodes long but it paints a much larger picture and I really hope we get more episodes sooner rather than later. Richard Armitage is hilarious as Trevor Belmont and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.



About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.