Castlevania – Netflix Review

Castlevania is a new American animated series on Netflix based off the series of video games that began in the 80s, namely Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. It’s got an anime-influenced style of animation, vampires, demons and hunters, but the question is, is it any good?

I’m a fan of old video games and Castlevania is no exception. The Netflix series does a good job at sucking me right back into the world of Castlevania. I wanted to play the old games right after it finished.

Richard Armitage voices Trevor Belmont, the last son of the House of Belmont who specialised in, you guessed it, vampire hunting. When Dracula (Graham McTavish) seeks revenge upon the region of Wallachia, Belmont is forced into action to combat it.

Armitage, who I despised in The Hobbit films (rather just the films themselves) is fantastic as Belmont here. He is just the right level of quippy and suave, bringing a sense of humour and comedic timing to an otherwise deadly serious series. The voice work in the series is quite great, even if sometimes the scripted lines aren’t quite as polished as I’d like. Tony Amendola and Alejandro Reynoso round out the supporting cast. Not to mention James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) is in there as Alucard. 

As for the animation, it is mostly pretty great. The anime influences are plentiful and fans of the style should be pleased. However, some of the scenes just don’t look as great as others and sometimes the quality just feels lacking.

There are a few more problems with the series, however. For one, the format. There are four, 20-something minute episodes and that’s it. It all feels a bit thin, as though they made a single 80 minute movie into four parts. While the series does a great job of setting up what’s to come, it’ll be a full year before we see the already ordered second season of eight episodes. As a foundation for the series to build on the series succeeds with flying colours. But as a complete season, there just isn’t enough content for it to be truly great. 

Despite the flaws, Castlevania is entertaining with its animation and voice work. It’s a solid Netflix watch if you’ve got an hour to kill one afternoon. The groundwork has all been laid, let’s just hope the team behind it can build upon it an even better second series that packs just a little bit more bite.

Have you watched Castlevania yet? Played the old video games? Let us know your thoughts and sound off in the comments below and on Facebook.