That’s the vampire connection. The Nazgul. They *are* featured in this movie, even if you are only given a few brief glimpses. Those glimpses are well worth it. The cinematography in this film is beautiful, sumptuous, even depicting as it does the horrors of the battlefield. The director and the screenwriters were smart to intersperse the scenes of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s experiences on the frontlines of World War One with lengthy flashback sequences, otherwise it would have been too much for the average viewer to find palatable. And what made those scenes, which would otherwise have been hard to watch—I adore Horror more than words can say, but real-world violence can be hard to swallow, and people today, as jaded as we have become to the horrors of warfare, tend not to realize just how hellish the “Great War” actually was. It was in truth hell on earth.—anyway, what made those scenes processable, indeed even wondrous, was the inclusion of the fantastic characters of Tolkien’s creative mind. The Ringwraiths, Sauron, Dragons, the Balrog and the like make brief, shadowy appearances amidst the chaos that inspired them.
As for the parts of the movie that did not take place on the battlefield, suffice it to say that, for a movie to serve as a biography for a great man, the greatest fantasist to ever live, that movie would itself have to be great. TOLKIEN is worthy of the name it bears as its title, and the man who served as its inspiration.