The problem with prequels is that they usually take two hours to tell us things that we already know. Fortunately this is not the problem with Dracula Untold, which tells the origin story of the world's most famous vampire.
Now maybe you're a proud member of Team Edward, so you think you know a lot about vampires, but you probably don't know too much about King Drac', or Prince Vlad III, as he was officially known.
Untold gets into the political story of how a mere mortal is transformed into the bloodthirsty undead. But rather than portraying Vlad as an evil monster, we get understandable explanations for his actions.
The story is well-paced, without dragging too much in the set-up of characters or its history. Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Fast & Furious 6) is very convincing in the title role, as is Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) as the demon whose deal with Vlad leads to Dracula's blood-sucking ways.
The special effects are another strong point, allowing us to visualise all those little vampire factoids, like what happens to vampires in the sun? (Answer: they certainly don't sparkle).
Nicholas Shore has done a fantastic job on his first directing effort, creating an epic that should be added to the list of Halloween classics.