Francis Ford Coppola's film Dracula portrays the anguish of a man searching for his lost love after he renounces God and joins the realm of the undead. After defeating the Turks in defense of Christianity, Vlad Tepes vows vengeance against the Lord when he returns to his castle to find his true love dead, the victim of suicide, damned by God for eternity. Coppola attempts to validate Vlad's deviant behavior by adding a romantic subplot about an eternal love that transcends time and moral alignments. By playing on Vlad's search for his true love Coppola attaches him to the emotions of the audience by giving him a more human quality that evokes their sympathy while building up to his act of redemption in the final scene.
In the first two movies it was obvious that Dracula was not human because he was portrayed as an unsightly creature that could not walk in daylight. His only purpose was to revitalize himself on the blood of the living in an effort to ensure his immortality. There were no clear explanations for his bizarre behavior and in the end he was destroyed but there were no signs of redemption. This type of main character may have worked well for the audience of Nosferatu in 1922 and again for the1931 version of Dracula but they lacked the emotional connections and, as previously mentioned, the act of redemption that most people look for today. Also despite the fact that Dracula is the granddaddy of all horror movies the older versions are rather boring by today's standards. Good heroically triumphs over Evil and that's the end of that. Coppola's movie reinvents the characters, alters the mood, and even changes the ending to give the audience a character they can relate to. In order for a film to be deemed a success in today's high budget movie industry it has to be exciting and an emotional connection between the viewer and the main character is essential.
Coppola stimulates the emotional needs of the audience by combining drama, fear, and love.