I missed this when it played in theaters this past year but finally had a chance to sit down and watch. I wasn’t blown away but it’s not bad.

On the positive side: Luke Evans is a good leading man, believable and does some interesting things with the part. The cinematography by John Schwartzman (who also was DP on Seabiscuit and Saving Mr. Banks) is really gorgeous in many scenes. There’s a cool “vampire vision” thing they did here I really liked as well.

Special credit has to go to Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) as the Master Vampire. He steals every scene he’s in. Best scenes of the film involve him. Great make-up work as well.

The production values are high. Where things went a bit wrong for me was in the story department. While the script isn’t terrible, it has a lot of plot holes and character motivation issues that threw me out of the movie. I kept asking basic questions about why characters were acting a certain way that seemed in opposite to how they’d been established and what their actual motivations were.

Also, although the production values were high, there were several nearly all-CG scenes that felt more like a video game cut scene rendering. In the end, I kept thinking to myself, even Game of Thrones (which is just a TV show) has better characters and storylines than this film.

It’s a passable “set up” for Universal’s planned monster movie franchise. I wouldn’t mind visiting this world again, as long as more time is spent on a better plot and stronger characters.