Unlike many previous film adaptations, Dracula is depicted closely to Bram Stoker's inspiration to the book, the life Vlad the Impaler, the infamous warrior turned ruler whom impaled many of his enemies.
In 1462, Vlad Dracula, a member of the Order of the Dragon, returns from a victory against the Turks to find his wife, Elisabeta, has committed suicide after receiving a false report of his death. Enraged that his wife is now damned for committing suicide, Dracula desecrates his chapel and renounces God, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness. In a fit of rage, he stabs the cross with his sword and drinks the blood which pours out of it.
In 1897, Dracula then meets solicitor Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves). When seeing a picture of Harker's wife, Mina Paker (Winona Ryder), he believes she's the reincarnation to his late wife, do to the strong resemblance.