Spoilers included of the new BBC Dracula series that was on at Christmas 2019.
I would have written this sooner, as it has been a week now since the BBC’s Dracula was aired on our TVs and I must say, of all the vampire movies and series I have ever watched, this is the only one which had played into four of my most dreaded fears.
Regarding horror and the realms of fear, I am not known to be a sensitive person, but, like all human beings, I do have some sensitivities which make me fear aspects of life and some scenes in this Dracula did affect me badly in some way or another – though saying that, I would watch it all again.
One thing of the four must have been so pronoun that I have forgotten it entirely, I just remember at the end of episode three that I knew there were four things I had to list about this series here – I did write it down but it must have been amongst the papers where I spilled orange juice when I had a coughing fit the other day. (I lost a lot of works in progress that evening and I am upset about that, they were hand written in my sick bed).
One of the scenes which upset me was the “something in your eye” moment with Jonathan Harker and Sister Agatha, where sister Agatha paused in her conversation with Mr Harker long enough for him to remark what was wrong? She pointed out that there was something in his eye and indeed there was a fly crawling on the eyeball of the eye, which is bad enough but then the next thing that happened was he blinked and looked sideways and the fly found itself behind the back of the eye of Jonathan Harker whom at this point was going through what I can only describe as a “Vampire in Brooklyn” body falling apart and dying, ghoul stage. He had no idea what was happening to himself, and then he asked Sister Agatha if it had gone? She gulped and said yes, but it was still behind his eye.
Eye scenes unnerve me a lot, anything to do with eyeballs affect me in horror. Usually the gouging of them or the stabbing or eating of them, such as the scene found in Mrs Peregrines home for peculiar children – that sort of thing really makes me shudder.
The second and third things which played on my mind a lot in Dracula was the two things which scare me most about death and dying. Since becoming ill around seven or eight years ago, I often have nightmares and thoughts about death and what may or may not happen during or before death. One repeated nightmare I have had is that my body is rotting away and literally decomposing whilst I am still conscious and that there is nothing I or anyone else can do about it, then because I have rotten sufficiently enough not to move or talk, people presume I am dead and then bury me, whilst I am still alive and conscious and that this never ceases. There are scenes in this Dracula where anyone bitten by Dracula is immediately a decomposing animated being forever and ever and that they eventually beg to be killed by him so they that no longer have to suffer rotting consciously as they are. I had thought that I am a weird person for thinking such things and that not many people have done so, I had wanted to write this as a story, but now I feel like it would come across as copying.
The third thing is another death fear. My mother had always tried to talk me into accepting the idea of being cremated when I die because graves cause more pain to the visitors than if I was literally turned into dust and thrown away somewhere. I had always told her that I fear to be cremated, because what if I wasn’t properly dead? What if someone got it wrong? There are neurological conditions out there which can render people in a dead like state but are still in fact perfectly alive – how awful it would be to be woken up by being burned to death in a sealed container where no one can hear you scream? She always called me silly for that, but this was another scene that Dracula portrayed and it did so incredibly well. Oh and yes, I still hold firm that a burial is a better option for me, I have discussed this with Paul already as I am convinced I am dying of something or another but I just haven’t been told because if doctors commit to diagnosing me they might have to commit their money to try and save me and I really do believe that some doctors won’t tell patients the truth. I am to be buried in a lovely place on the outskirts of Rugby town, it is a newly planted forest, a tree is planted for everyone who dies and is buried there, the tree will sit on top of a bio-gradable coffin with me in it and you can choose any native species of tree to have on top of you with a plaque on it – yes, I want to be buried in a haunted forest. I would like anything that helps the most life of the woodland – an oak I have been told is the best, though I had thought of having a berry tree of some sort, like a rowan and then I thought of the avenging spirit of the elder and birch trees, I can see me becoming someone who would help others find justice if I were to become a ghost. Protecting victims of the forest, the animals, and children, anyone who might need my help, fiercely, like some mythic forest guardian.
It was such a very good adaption to Dracula though I must say in some places it quite lost the plot. I liked how they portrayed death as unsexy and how it showed the harsh reality of what death could potentially bring to the unwary or to the ignorant young romanticists. I did not, however, like how it portrayed Dracula as a greedy, untidy eater. I am pretty sure that drinking blood as a vampire would be similar to indulging in tomato soup, you do so neatly, you don’t just pick up the bowl and pour it into your mouth without a care of how much dribbles down your chin and clothes, especially when you are as well dressed and polite as he was. Aristocrats are not slobs, vampires or otherwise! It does seem to be a thing these days, I know Christopher Lee often dribbled when he played Dracula, but this day and age they act like bloody vultures, literally, they may as well tear the stomach in half of their victims and shove their heads into the cavity for what mess they blooming make.
I always imagined vampires to be discrete and clean creatures, you can’t walk down the street in the middle of the night looking like Carrie fresh from the prom – it isn’t done, especially nightly!
Well that’s my two cents on the matter.