Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

Four years have passed since the premiere of the first season of Castlevania on Netflix. The story of Trevor, Cyf, Alucard and, of course, Dracula himself immediately managed to establish itself as one of the best adaptations of video games. On the one hand, Merman is a fish for lack of fish, but on the other hand, one should not belittle the merits of the authors of one film adaptation because the works of their colleagues in the workshop are much weaker and do not convey the spirit of the original source! And the “Netflix” Castlevania is just fine with this. For three seasons, we closely followed the development (it should be noted, sometimes very leisurely) of events, and finally we waited for the finale.

Did the new season manage to keep the bar of quality? I ask myself this question every time I start watching the latest episodes of Castlevania and writing a review (by the way, do not forget to brush up on the reviews of the first, second and third seasons!), And every time I answer it in the affirmative. But now others have been added to this issue – after all, we have a long-awaited denouement here. Did all the storylines get a decent ending? Have the main characters been given enough attention so that their fates do not raise questions? On what note did the final chord of the Castlevania series end? It’s time to figure it out.

From dusk to dawn

In the third season, four main storylines ran in parallel, and the final episodes naturally continued their development. Some of these lines, in turn, branched out to focus on specific characters. So, the arch of Carmilla and her associates was fragmented: Striga and Morana left the vampire castle to fight the humans, and Lenore, although she remained within its walls, spent most of her time with the devilish blacksmith Hector. Meanwhile, Carmilla longs to enslave the world – and for this she needs Hector’s army.

Another obsessed in the series is Count Saint-Germain, but he does not need power, he wants to find and save his beloved (and how can one not draw parallels with Dracula himself). Others are also hatching their cunning plans – and these very plans run into the revival of the legendary bloodsucker. This is a classic move for the Castlevania franchise. As well as the appearance of another key antagonist of the series. The main characters – Trevor, Sayfa and Alucard – actively seek to prevent the resurrection of Dracula, but are already exhausted by constant battles with night creatures. You should not write off the second devilish blacksmith, Isaac: he just works with such monsters, but prefers not to make killing machines out of them, but to look directly into their soul. Or what’s left of it.

And even though the characters don’t always behave logically (for example, defending themselves from enemies outside the castle, when one could immediately take cover behind its walls), they still feel alive. Humor hasn’t gone anywhere either – often rude, with jokes below the belt. And the sarcasm of the main characters remained in place. “I’m turning into Belmont, is it worth living on?” Alucard sighs pathetically at the beginning of the season. It’s nice that there are things that don’t change!

The morning sun dispersed the darkness of the night - a review of the fourth season of the series Castlevania

It seems that the fourth season and put everything on the shelves, but personally I would like more attention to the storyline of Lenore and Hector. But the Isaac arc seems completely meaningless, but, on the other hand, if it were not for it, we would not have seen one of the most beautiful battle scenes.

Although the fourth season is the final one, it did not do without new characters. The most notable of these is a London vampire named Varney. Alas, he is deprived of English manners, but he has such a backstory that it is not a sin to talk about it in more detail. Varney came to the series not from games, but from literature: he is the protagonist of tabloid horror films by James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Peckett. Stories about Varney were published in the middle of the 19th century, and it was in them that vampire fangs were first described, which can be used to bite through human necks. He also hypnotized his victims and liked to hunt women at night.

The literary image of Varney strongly influenced Stoker’s Dracula, but the irony is that now few people remember the London vampire. This is played out in Netflix’s Castlevania – Varney constantly complains that everyone has forgotten about him, and wants to achieve recognition among his bloodthirsty associates. Well, at least the series has given the English vampire some of the attention it deserves.

The morning sun dispersed the darkness of the night - a review of the fourth season of the series Castlevania

Varney is voiced not by anyone, but by Malcolm McDowell himself – another addition to the stellar cast of actors, which already includes, let me remind you, Bill Nighy (Bill Nighy) and Richard Armitage (Richard Armitage).

Dance of death

While watching the final season of Castlevania, I caught myself thinking that compared to it, the previous one is now remembered and feels completely filler. In contrast to the unhurried third, the fourth is very cheerful, because the battles here are thundering almost in every series. And what battles!

Non-stop action captivates, blood flows like a river, monsters chopped with a variety of weapons shatter into pieces (people, however, also got it). Do not forget about the magic of Saifa: the sorceress enchants with her elemental attacks no worse than good old steel. The creators of the final episodes clearly put a lot of effort into the battles, their staging and detailing. And if now you compare any battle from the first season and the last, you will be amazed at how much the quality of animation has improved.

Separately, I would single out the sixth episode: in it, the bloody-beautiful dance of death is revealed to the maximum. But the climactic battle with the “boss” was done to the conscience – four years, and here it is, the apogee of the artistic possibilities of Castlevania. And if, like me, you criticized the previous season for the abundance of dialogue and the small number of battles, then you will definitely like the changes in the finale.

A million little pieces

Despite the fact that the series tells an original story, the fourth season of Castlevania (like the previous three) contains many references to the original source – the video game series of the same name about the struggle of the Belmont clan with Dracula. Alas, the creators of the film adaptation once again did without music from the games, and we can only remember with nostalgia the battle under Bloody Tears in the second season.

The lack of canonical music is actively compensated by visual “easter eggs”. Take the enemies, for example: the skeletons armed with swords or bows that Trevor and Saif fight in the first episode are monsters typical of the series, which usually need to be “cut down” in batches. Bigger opponents also have their own game prototypes – for example, in the final season, Gergot resembling an armless dinosaur, who first appeared in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, lit up.

The morning sun dispersed the darkness of the night - a review of the fourth season of the series Castlevania

My favorite type of homage in the fourth season is “Those very poses.” During a conversation with Lenore, Hector seems to be posing for the cover of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness for a second.

The appearance of Alucard is a story that deserves a separate paragraph. The shield and cape of Dracula’s son is an obvious reference to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: they were exactly the same there. At the moment when the dhampir’s cloak turned into wings, one can recall the hero’s double jump in the same “Symphony of the Night” – he had a similar animation. Well, Alucard’s half-naked chest already looks like his image from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.

Greta, who appeared in the fourth season, fought alongside the legendary trio just like Grant Danasty, the fourth character in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. Not in the sense that she looks like a pirate, but in the fact that Trevor, Saif and Alucard, according to the canon, just lacked the last “party member”. The fact that Greta is a “substitute” is also indicated by the fact that the girl comes from a village called Danasty. Coincidence? Not in this show!

The morning sun dispersed the darkness of the night - a review of the fourth season of the series Castlevania

In the eighth episode, Alucard, holding a sword to his face, refers to his pose from the cover of Symphony of the Night.

Of course, not all Easter eggs are mentioned in the review – for a complete list, perhaps, it would be necessary to write (or even mount) a separate material. Well, we’d better return to the fourth season and its final assessment.

The finale of Castlevania is unlikely to greatly surprise fans of the illustrious Konami franchise: even a single sudden “this is a twist” is quite organic and expected for the series. But this does not in the least prevent the fourth season from being a worthy end to a story that began four years ago. Each significant character received their screen time, and the audience, in turn, got an understanding of what this or that hero eventually came to. The finale does not leave behind a feeling of understatement, because the plot is completed quite logically and, perhaps, even too life-affirming for the series, in which body parts scattered right and left, and liters of blood flowed from severed limbs. But after all, we all know that after the night dawn will come and the morning sun will surely disperse the terrible monsters.

But after a sunny day, evening will come again, and the creatures of darkness will again go hunting. This means that the world urgently needs some kind of spin-off with other characters, but in the same universe. Netflix, seeing the popularity of the series, of course, is ready to work in this direction. It is still unknown who they will tell us about in the branch: there is a lot of room for imagination here. For example, Adi Shankar, the executive producer of the film adaptation, once mentioned that he really likes the character of Soma Cruz (the main character of Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow). But the story of Soma is only one of the ways the series develops. Submit your suggestions for a potential Castlevania spin-off in the comments and don’t forget to share your thoughts on the final season.

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