THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER
Director: André Øvredal
Starring: Corey Hawkins, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian, Jon Jon Briones, Chris Walley, Woody Norman, Aisling Franciosi
If you’re like me, you may have missed The Last Voyage of the Demeter during its theatrical run. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is proud to announce it is now available on Blu-Ray & DVD and Digital. I had the chance to watch it the other day and can confirm anyone that enjoys Dracula or vampire lore should be entertained by this prequel origin story for Bram Stoker’s iconic character.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter is taken from a chapter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and expands on how Dracula got to England. It’s a story taken from the Captain’s log and acts as a record and warning of the horrors aboard the Demeter. The boat was a 1897 Russian schooner headed from Romania to England and carried fifty wooden crates of private cargo. Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, The Tragedy of Macbeth) stars as Clemens who knows his way around a boat and the open waters but is dismissed in his attempts to be on the crew. That is until one of the crew members spots a dragon symbol on a crate and flees for fear of an evil spirit onboard. This makes way for Clemens who believes in science and nature over the supernatural or things that can’t be explained. Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) makes for a sturdy and trustworthy Captain whose boat becomes terrorized by a mysterious force first killing off the livestock and then making a bloody feast out of the crew members.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter could have been a flimsy thin origin story trying to milk a feature length movie out of a chapter of a book, but director André Øvredal has made an effective monster film. He and his writing team aren’t trying too hard to reinvent the wheel, but instead, go back to basics relying on the claustrophobia of being stuck out in the middle of the dark water with nowhere to escape. Øvredal creates a good amount of dread and terror from early on reminding the audience that its only a matter of time before this evil creature unleashes its terror. He provides a nice build up to the reveal of Dracula with the creature seen lurking in the darkness and shadows of the boat. It’s fairly far into the movie before we see the monster full on. He leaves his bloody, vicious attacks as a warning to the audience. The design of the monster is fairly impressive with actor Javier Botet wearing full body prosthetics and CGI enhancement for certain scenes. We don’t see Dracula in human form like we’ve seen from the likes of Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman, but he’s made to look like a massive bat with grotesque features. Øvredal isn’t afraid to go for the jugular when it comes to the attacks, but he’s wise to use them as methodically as possible. Add this film to a vampire/Dracula marathon this spooky season for a diverse palate of a legendary monster.
Here’s what to expect on the new release, which is now available for purchase.
-Deleted Scenes with commentary by director André Øvredal and Producer Bradley J. Fischer
-From the Pits of Hell: Dracula Reimagined
-Evil is Aboard: The Making of The Last of the Demeter
-Dracula & the Digital Age
-Feature Commentary with Director André Øvredal and Producer Bradley J. Fischer
Here’s video I made for TikTok (@PAULSMOVIETRIP)