The Last Voyage of the Demeter was a pleasant surprise with a consistently creepy atmosphere, excellent performances and the scariest interpretation of Dracula in years.
Plot: The crew of the merchant ship Demeter sets sail from Carpathia to London to deliver a cargo of 50 unmarked wooden crates. However, they soon discover they’re not alone as Dracula’s unholy presence turns the trip into a nightmarish fight for survival.
Review: Sometimes you can just tell from a trailer that a movie is going to be quality and The Last Voyage of the Demeter is one of those movies. You could see it was going to be dark, creepy and well-acted especially with a cast includes Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian and Corey Hawkins.
As expected, the performances are all first rate and I found myself caring about each of the characters who felt like real people rather than just one note stereotypes who you tick off as they get killed one by one by Dracula. Liam Cunningham is one of my favourite actors as he never seems like he’s acting but just embodies the characters he plays and you believe that he is genuinely the Captain of the Demeter in this movie.
The story takes what is a brief part in the book of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and fills in the blanks about what really happened on the ship during the doomed voyage to London.
It builds up perfectly establishing all the characters while always maintaining a creepiness where you’re peering into the dimly lit corners of the screen to see if a monster lies in wait. Speaking of which, I did find that the film was a little too dark to see what was going on a lot of the time, but I believe that was a deliberate stylistic choice to maintain the mystery of what Dracula really looks like. I loved how it just has a constant feeling of menace where even the weather feels evil and at one point the windows of the ship look like eyes staring into the souls of the crew.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter makes Dracula scarier and more monstrous than ever mostly using impressive visual effects which are always more effective than CG (which we do see occasionally in this). This doesn’t skimp on violence either with some gory kills and one scene has Dracula actually mocking someone before he kills them which just makes you hate him even more.
Bear McCreary is one of the best composers in the industry today and his score doesn’t disappoint with epic choirs and an unsettling vibe which really adds to the whole atmosphere of the film.
It’s very much open for a sequel too which I would love to see especially how they would reimagine Van Helsing.
Overall, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is one of the best Dracula movies in recent years (although I do enjoy Renfield as well) with faultless performances, plenty of gory kills, a relentlessly creepy atmosphere and surprisingly memorable characters.