TV

Castlevania Nocturne Review: Move Over Dracula, It’s Erzsebet Bathory’s Turn


Castlevania: Nocturne is Netflix’s new take on the classic video game series. But is it as good as the original?

Richter Belmont in Castlevania: Nocturne
Photo: Netflix

This Castlevania review contains spoilers.

When Netflix’s Castlevania animated series first released in 2017, it was nothing short of a miracle: at last fans had a video game adaptation that was not only worthy of its beloved source material but was also a hell of a lot of fun to watch in its own right, especially in its early, Dracula-focused seasons. Netflix got the formula very right back then and its sequel, Castlevania: Nocturne, largely nails it too, even if its 8-episode first season sometimes drags in the middle.

Set in 1792, about 300 years after the adventures of Trevor Belmont, the events of Nocturne unfold during the chaos of the French Revolution, a very suitable backdrop for all the gruesome violence that ensues at the crack of a Belmont whip. Returning directors Sam and Adam Deats go for broke with action sequences that extract every last ounce of blood, guts, and body parts from the Night Creatures that stalk the darkest corners of Paris (there are some really sick monster designs on this show). The original series wasn’t exactly kid-friendly, but Nocturne makes the guillotine look like a children’s toy in comparison.

The show follows Richter Belmont, this era’s own smart-ass vampire hunter, voiced by Edward Bluemel, who has a lot of fun with the more fresh-faced Belmont. Richter is a bit of a departure from Trevor. While he has a dark past like Trevor did, Richter embraces his Belmont heritage and it’s clear from the start of the series that he feels he has something to prove, whereas Trevor just wanted to be left alone to drink. His motivation for fighting monsters is a lot more personal too, going back to his mother Julia Belmont (a new Belmont created for the show) and her death at the hands of her vampiric nemesis Olrox (a terrific Zahn McClarnon).

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