Dracula

  • Directors: Terence Fisher
  • Producers: Anthony Hinds
  • Writers: Novel, Bram Stoker, Screenplay, Jimmy Sangster
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh

Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenberg, posing as a librarian. He is startled inside the castle by a young woman begging for help, claiming to be a prisoner. Dracula then greets Harker and guides him to his room, where he locks him in. Jonathan starts to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he has come to kill Dracula.

Freed sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She begs him for help but then bites his neck. Just as she does, Dracula arrives and yanks her away. When he awakens in daylight, Harker finds the bite mark. He hides his journal in a Virgin Mary grotto outside the castle and descends into the crypts, where he finds Dracula and the unnamed woman in their coffins. Armed with a stake, he impales the woman. But when he turns to kill Dracula, the count has already awakened and is waiting for him.

Dr. Van Helsing then arrives in Klausenberg, looking for Harker. The frightened townsfolk give him Harker’s journal. When he arrives at the castle, it is deserted; a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it. In the crypt, Van Helsing is horrified to discover Harker lying in a coffin as a vampire. Staking Harker, he leaves to deliver the veiled news of Harker’s death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker’s fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her. But, when night falls, Lucy opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck — already, it bares the mark of a vampire bite. And soon Dracula arrives and bites her again.

A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise. He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle. Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the sunlight and, forming a cross of candlesticks, he forces Dracula into it. Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing watches in horror. Mina recovers, the cross-shaped scar fading from her hand as Dracula’s ashes blow away and leave only a ring behind.

Sleepy Hollow

  • Directors: Tim Burton
  • Producers: Scott Rudin, Adam Schroeder, Francis Ford Coppola, Larry J Franco
  • Writers: Washington Irving, Kevin Yagher, Andrew Kevin Walker, Tom Stoppard
  • Genres: Horror, Mystery
  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Christopher Lee, Richard Griffiths, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, Christopher Walken

In 1799, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane is dispatched by his superiors to the Hudson Highlands hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, to investigate a series of brutal slayings in which the victims have been found beheaded. A frequent user of new, though so far unproven investigative techniques such as finger-printing and autopsies, Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow armed with his bag of scientific tools only to be informed by the town’s elders that the murderer is not of flesh and blood, rather a headless supernatural warrior from beyond the grave who rides at night on a massive black steed.

Crane does not believe them and begins his own investigation, until he comes face to “face” with the Headless Horseman. Boarding a room at the home of the town’s richest family, the Van Tassels, Crane develops an attraction to their daughter, the mysterious Katrina, even as he’s plagued by nightmares of his mother’s horrific torture when he was a child.

Delving further into the mystery with the aid of the orphaned Young Masbeth, whose father was a victim of the Horseman, Crane discovers within the Western Woods both the Horseman’s entry point between this world and the beyond, the gnarled Tree of the Dead, and his grave.

He finds the Horseman’s skull is missing though the murders continue until Crane uncovers a murky plot revolving around revenge and land rights with the Horseman controlled by Katrina’s stepmother, Lady Van Tassel, who sends the killer after her. Following a fight in the local windmill and a stagecoach chase through the woods, Crane eventually thwarts Lady Van Tassel by returning the skull to the Horseman, who regains his head and heads back to Hell along with her. His job in Sleepy Hollow completed, Crane returns to New York with Katrina and Young Masbeth in time for the new century.