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Looking at Bram Stokers Dracula and Kenneth Brannaghs Frankenstein, show how the directors of these two films have adapted them from the text and also at how they attempted to make the film more appealing to a modern audience.

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Introduction

The horror genre remains very popular with cinema audiences even nowadays because the special effects today make creatures look even more terrifyingly realistic and it also means that you can film stunts or scenes like somebody turning into a werewolf for example, much more easy to film and much more effective. An example of a modern horror film that consists of very effective special effects is 'Underworld' that makes use of computer generation to make some impressive transformation scenes. The advances in technology give modern horror films an edge over classics and a modern audience expects a lot more from a horror film nowadays. Modern horror films consist of old and new tricks of filming to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. They consist of much more varied and clever plots and storylines. Re-workings of older horror films are filmed with the view to appeal to a modern audience and the audience go to see these horror films with an expectation of what they think will happen and the good thing about horror films is they can have plot twists and unexpected events occurring throughout the film. We watched two extracts from the film adaptations of two Gothic horror novels, Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and Kenneth Brannagh's 'Frankenstein'. We analysed these two scenes and then compared them to the written extracts. The two scenes we looked at are the creation scene from 'Frankenstein' and Harker's journey to Dracula's castle and his first meeting with Dracula from 'Dracula'. ...read more.

Middle

The monster described in the text has lustrous black hair while the monster in the film has none, the monster in the text has pearly white teeth and we did not see the monster's teeth in the film, the one in the text is described as having watery, dun coloured eyes and a shrivelled complexion, which are both similar to in the film, although the monster in the film does not have straight, black lips as the monster described in the text has. I think the director of the film decided to give his monster a different appearance to what people would expect from a Frankenstein movie and that's why the monster differs in this way. Kenneth Brannagh shows his monster this way to make the creature more varied from the stereotypical monster we expect to and to make a more vulgar and revolting monster to make the audience cringe and despise. In the written extract, there is little description of the setting or the equipment. Neither is there reference to how the experiment was undertaken so the director, Kenneth Brannagh had to offer his own interpretation. "Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." In the text, Dr. Frankenstein's emotions are portrayed as going from excitement and expectation while he is performing the experiment to being filled with disgust and fear when he sees what he has created after ha has completed the experiment. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the text, Dracula is dressed in all black while in the film he is dressed in white which emphasizes his paleness with a red cape that is more powerfully visual as looking like blood flowing behind him. Also in the text Dracula is portrayed as having a red mouth with protuberant, pointed teeth while in the film he is shown as having a pale mouth and normal teeth. The director uses this look in order to make Dracula look like a normal human, adding to the feeling of mystery surrounding him, and to make him different from the stereotypic image of Dracula. Summary These two films engage a modern audience in the way the films use clever tricks to give suspense, which can be overlooked in some of the newer horror films that rely on the amount of blood that comes out rather than clever filming and jumpy moments. In short, Dracula and Frankenstein were very similar in the way that they portrayed the typical horror tricks and consisted of similar camera angles to each other point out various bits. I thought that Dracula, both the written extract and the film extract fitted the horror genre a bit better than Frankenstein as it was more believable for me. I also thought that the film extract was much more scary, although Frankenstein wasn't bad and had its moments of fright. My final views were that Dracula was on the whole filmed better than Frankenstein as it used the different camera angles more effectively in my opinion. Andrew Baillie 10ALB ...read more.

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