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‘Castlevania’ Review: Netflix’s Bleak, Violent Animated Series Wrestles With Evil on a Giant Scale

‘Castlevania’ Review: Netflix’s Bleak, Violent Animated Series Wrestles With Evil on a Giant Scale

Staying alive in the year 1455 was not an easy task.

As if the lack of medical advances and the whims of deadly diseases weren’t enough, “Castlevania,” the latest Netflix animated series from writer Warren Ellis, adds on the persistent spectre of bloodthirsty hellbeasts bent on destroying all of humankind.

It’s the ideal example of the series attempting to tap into universal themes to amp up the frights originally mined in the Konami video game series. This onscreen world might hold a special place for those who’ve been immersed since its premiere in 1986, but as a work of episodic storytelling, it takes much of its four episodes to firmly establish the kind of series it will be moving forward. (“Castlevania” was renewed for Season 2 the morning Season 1 debuted.)

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The pilot episode, as an

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