In need of a boost in order to battle the sultan's army, Vlad goes out looking for super powers, and he gets them from the master vampire (Charles Dance), who's been trapped in a cave on some nearby nightmare mountain, waiting for a successor to join him in undeath and, in so doing, set him free or something. The rules are odd and complicated — if Vlad can abstain from blood for three days, he'll become human again and his maker will stay trapped. Though obviously, if that happened, there'd be no legend.
But the scene where Vlad first tries out his perhaps temporary powers feels like a goth version of Spider-Man — he accidentally crushes a rock with his newfound strength, he tries out his now powerful hearing, and he watches a cut on his hand rapidly heal ("That's useful," he mutters). Then he dashes through the woods, exploding into a cloud of bats and then back again — a development he takes remarkably well, all things considered. (A later scene reads like an inadvertent hat-tip to a central one in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.)
Vlad's vampiric powers are meant to be a deal with the devil, bringing eternal thirst and turmoil with them. But Dracula Untold can't help but color them as kick-ass, as Vlad demolishes invading battalions with his vampire speed, strength, and bat cloudiness. The best sequence allows some of his fighting to be seen only via reflection in a sword, and the movie even includes him triumphantly declaring himself "Dracula" now, an embrace of identity that suggests eternal damnation is nothing when you get to look this cool.