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Reimagining Dracula: 'The Last Voyage of Demeter' Impresses

Image courtesy of Universal

By Jaimz Dillman

If you're familiar with vampire lore, deciphering the plot of THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER comes as no surprise. In this film, director André Øvredal delves into a chapter from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, narrated by the Captain of the titular ship.

From the outset, an eerie introduction provides a glimpse of the conclusion. Or does it? The narrative rewinds to the genesis of this story, introducing us to the individuals gathered for a voyage from Carpathia to London aboard The Demeter amidst the twists of fate and cautionary tales of a cursed cargo, Clemens (Corey Hawkins) boards as the ship’s doctor.

Image courtesy of Universal

Led by a crew of merely 5, Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) alongside his grandson Toby (Woody Norman), the sails catch the sea breeze, propelling them forward. Yet, as expected, things take a dark turn.

A purported stowaway (Aisling Franciosi) is uncovered, prompting Clemens to persuade the Captain to grant her medical aid. This is when the monster is unveiled! SPOILER ALERT: In my view, when a horror narrative involves children and animals, all bets are off. Safety eludes everyone aboard The Demeter, no matter the bravado of the men or the religious ramblings of cook Joseph (Jon Jon Briones). SPOILER END

While the storyline proves engrossing and occasionally heart-wrenching, it doesn't introduce anything revolutionary in yet another iteration of the timeless struggle between vampires and their prey. Nonetheless, the film's somber setting juxtaposes with occasional breathtaking scenery, offering a poignant view of the crew's desperate struggle to endure until they dock in England. THE LAST VOYAGE OF DEMETER is an easy watch and a good addition for any Stoker fans, even if it’s a story we all already know.

Image courtesy of Universal

Mark your calendars as THE LAST VOYAGE OF DEMETER arrives in theaters everywhere on August 11, 2023.


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