Directed by: Patrick Lussier
Written by:Joel Soisson, Patrick Lussier
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Gerard Butler, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Christopher Plummer
Released: March 15, 2001
Grade: B

In the latest take of Bram Stoker's novel (and there have been a few), Matthew Van Helsing (Plummer) is in charge of a large antique museum in London.  Within its walls is a massive vault that is well guarded by security and no one but Van Helsing knows what lies behind it.  His secretary believes it contains hidden treasure and orchestrates a robbery.  Behind the door lies a series of tunnels which eventually lead to a chamber and a tightly locked coffin.  Thinking it is filled with gold and jewels, they take the coffin and board a flight to the United States.  In the air, they solve the riddle which opens the lock to the coffin but inside lies the last thing they expected - Dracula. 

Now loose in New Orleans, Dracula (played by Gerard Butler) feeds on the blood of his victims whilst in search of an elusive young lady by the name of Mary Heller (Waddell).  She has had premonitions of Dracula's return but cannot understand why she has these visions.  The answer will be revealed when Dracula finally presents himself at her door step.

In the meantime, Van Helsing has travelled to New Orleans with assistant Simon Sheppard (Miller) to track down and recapture Dracula.  They will also need to kill anyone who has been transformed into a vampire with his deadly bite to ensure his presence will not continue.

There are a few nice surprises in Dracula 2000 so I won't give away any more secrets but within 20 minutes I knew it was just that little bit different.  There are no big stars and any preconceptions as to who would live and who would die went out the window.  Usually the big stars always survive till the end but it's hard to predict just what fate is in store for this cast.  Christopher Plummer (The Insider) is the standout performer but I also enjoyed many of the subtle, sarcastic comments from English actor Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting).

Wes Craven is an executive producer (no surprise there) and Dracula 2000 comes from the same Miramax subsidiary, Dimension Films, which have brought us The Crow, eXistenZ, From Dusk Till Dawn, Scary Movie and the Scream trilogy.  I can't say I've enjoyed all their films but they have a strong presence in the horror market and seem to have found enough screenwriters to keep the genre alive.  Their films are always a cut above the copycat horror flicks we've seen from other film studios and if you're looking for examples, just remember that Columbia Tristar was responsible for the pathetic I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend series.  A lot of bad memories...