The Countess (2009)

Starring: Julie Delpy, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt, Anamaria Marinca

Plot: A 17th century Hungarian countess embarks on a murderous undertaking, with the belief that bathing in the blood of virgins will preserve her beauty.

My Review and Thoughts:

I have always been fascinated with the subject matter of the true legend of Dracula, not Bram Stokers but the real Vlad Dracula The Impaler and Elizabeth Bathory. This film is about the story of Elizabeth Bathory and her obsession with staying young. Her obsession of flesh, the obsession of blood.

If you know me I am a history buff, specifically history that involves mystery. History that involves the more seedeater side of life. History that revolves around Kings and Queens and figures that throughout history have left their marks through horrible means.

One such historical character is Elizabeth Bathory, a true serial killer female, mass murderer that caused great pain, suffering and most of all folklore and legend throughout history.

There have been countless books and movies, TV programs, campfire ghost stories throughout history involving Elizabeth. Many of the stories are fabricated and created around more imagination than the actual subject matter. Don't get me wrong Elizabeth was a very diabolical woman but she also was a human being. She was not a monster in the sense of the undead or in the sense of a bloodsucking vampire. 

Elizabeth was a strong-willed woman. She was a woman that would not let men put her down or walk over top of her. She was a person that was before her time, for woman's rights. She was above and beyond her means. She did not let a male run society oppress her in any form or fashion.

What I like about this movie it made Elizabeth a human being, a woman, not a vampire, not some mythical creature, not some undead reality but a woman struggling and obsessed with age, obsessed with getting old and staying young and she thought blood was the answer. She believed in her delusions and her twisted reality to stay young forever.

The Countess is a 2009 movie directed and written by and starring Julie Delpy, as Báthory. Delpy is a stunning beautiful amazing talented goddess of the cinema. I love her greatly. She has a way with acting, a way with experiencing dialogue. Delpy has a way with showcasing the emotions on screen.

It is no different in this movie, Delpy captures the human side along with the psychotic side of who Bathory was. Delpy starred in one of my favorite films of all time Europa Europa a 1990 film directed by Agnieszka Holland. Every role she plays I fall in love with.

This is not only a drama, but it's also a psychological film and a disturbing actuality to it, just knowing that this is based off actual events, how one woman killed so many in a sick minded way. Hundreds of innocent women and children and men.

Something I also like about this movie is even though Elizabeth Bathory was a nut psycho and crazy woman, so are the men all around her. I enjoyed how this showcased the reality that men chose willingly to scheme and walk over her. They tried their hardest to make her crazy and for her to loose her mind. During the time men couldn't stand that a woman was smart. A woman was willing to stand up for what she believed in. Men could not take that reality.

Don't get me wrong I'm not condoning what Bathory did, Bathory clearly was disturbed, clearly was altered in true mental capacity but man sought to destroy her. Man for the time period had to destroy her because they felt, that they where the only rational ones.

This movie I felt was a great watch. I thought it touched on the historical reality, it touched on the drama aspect of it, the human side of it. The film did not create the mythology, the boogie man, it showed the reality of the truth. We will never know the whole complete story of what Elizabeth Bathory did or what her truth was, all we have is folklore mixed with half truths.

I think the whole movie was acted wonderfully. I think every character betrayed their part perfect. One thing I would have wished was to see more of the drama aspect of the victims, more of a human suffering of the victims. You got to see some of the drama, but for what Elizabeth Bathory stood for and what Elizabeth Bathory did I felt there could've been more drama or suffering. I can understand why Delpy did not want to betray this in the movie because that is part of the sensationalism, part of the old story, the folklore of what history has stated through countless stories being told that there was bodies piled mile high, blood, flesh eating, copulation with the devil and so on. 

I like movies that stick with more reality and this movie did that. Even though we don't know the full story and we can only guess on partial moments this betrays the more reality side, the more human side of Elizabeth.

I do like the aspect that the film added an underlining of erotic tension at moments that play with the passion of the flesh, passion of the body, passion of sex and love and romance. There is that aspect added in because it's a human feeling, it's a human side of us all and Elizabeth Bathory, even though she was a monster to history, she still had those urges.

Another stand out focus is Daniel Brühl  who gives a stunning performance and adds that erotic raw tension to the film as he plays Istvan Thurzo who is obsessed and in love with the older Bathory and who is the narrator of the movie.

Delpy wrote and directed a great little film of history. She captured the beauty of history and also the horrors of history.

I highly recommend this movie for those who love historical reality. Those who love to seek out the story and pass up the mythology of the character. I think this movie gave great focus of possibly, what the truth was.