The Last Voyage of the Demeter Blu Ray Review (Universal)
The Last Voyage of the Demeter (aKa Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter) is a 2023 horror film directed by André Øvredal (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Troll Hunter, and Mortal). It was written by Bragi F. Schut (Samaritan, Six, and Season of the Witch, and Escape Room) and Zak Olkewicz (Bullet Train and Fear Street Part Two). It is an adaptation of “The Captain’s Log”, a chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The budget was $45 million and it grossed $21.7 million at the box office.On August 6, 1897, the merchant ship Demeter washes ashore in England. Among the wreckage found by the police is the log kept by her captain Elliott (played by: Liam Cunningham from Game of Thrones, Hunger, Clash of the Titans, Let Us Prey, Safe House, and Blood: The Last Vampire). One month earlier, the Demeter makes port in Varna, Bulgaria to pick up cargo for transportation to London. The shipment, consisting of multiple large wooden crates, is transported by locals from Romania. However, the locals refuse to load the cargo onto the ship, insisting that they must leave the area before sundown. One of them hands the quartermaster Wojchek (played by: David Dastmalchian from The Suicide Squad, The Dark Knight, Gotham, Ant-Man trilogy, The Flash, Batman: The Long Halloween, Dune, The Teacher, and The Belko Experiment), and another crewman Olgaren (played by: Stefan Kapicic from Dead Pool trilogy, Better Call Saul, and Slotherhouse) a large sum of money and wishes the Demeter a safe voyage before departing with the others Clemens (played by: Corey Hawkins from Straight Outta Compton, Kong: Skull Island, Blackkklansman, In the Heights, and Survive), a doctor educated at the University of Cambridge, overhears that the ship is looking for crewmen. He attempts to convince the crew that his medical skills and knowledge of astronomy would make him a valuable asset to them. Wojchek rejects him and hires an older man instead, but while helping to load one of the crates, the new hire frightened upon recognizing the dragon emblem accidentally releases the tackle rope, causing the crate to fall.Clemens witnesses the accident and saves Elliott’s grandson Toby (played by: Woody Norman from Cobweb), from being crushed by the loose crate. The new hire declares the dragon emblem a bad omen and leaves; out of gratitude for Clemens’ intervention, Elliott hires him as a replacement. Clemens investigates and finds a woman (played by: Aisling Franciosi from The Nightingale,The Fall, The Unforgivable, and Game of Thrones) buried in dirt inside. She is barely alive, and he performs blood transfusions on her to treat what he believes to be an infection. Later in the Aegean Sea, Clemens and Olgaren see a mysterious figure in the fog on deck. The next night, all the animals aboard the ship are killed, including the ship’s dog Huckleberry. The crew, fearing a rabies outbreak, throws them all overboard. They are paranoid that one of their own might be causing all this violence on the ship. Anna wakes up and warns them about a monster from Transylvania, a creature that feeds on the blood of humans. In her town they called it Dracula (played by: Javier Botet from REC franchise, IT, The Conjuring 2, Scary Stories to tell in the Dark, Mara, Slender Man, Insidious: The Last Key, The Mummy, Mama, Alien: Covenant, Crimson Peak, and Game of Thrones), to whom she was given as a slave of blood so that the monster would leave them alone. She claims that Dracula is already aboard the ship and looking to feed, which is when she reveals several bites from the beast on her body. Dracula hunts the crew during the night. They must come together and fight this real life monster to save themselves from their own personal hell. They are all trapped on the ship against this unknown killing machine. Can this crew survive their trip before Dracula kills them all? or Will he gets on land and continue his reign of terror????It’s a real shame that The Last Voyage of the Demeter flopped at the box office because it’s honestly one of the better horror films of the year. That’s not a good look for Rated R horror since it’s unfortunately a rarity these days when it comes to the sub-genre. I personally think if it was released a little later like in October that it would have done so much better. The Last Voyage of the Demeter definitely started out a little slow at first but it makes up for it later on. I love the fact that they actually turned “The Captain’s Log” from “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” into a full length feature. It’s nice a prequel to the original classic of what’s to come in the future from this iconic monster. Speaking of Dracula, he’s played by horror veteran Javier Botet who has performed under fx to play so many crazy and brutal creatures in a variety of known horror movies. The Last Voyage of the Demeter kinda plays out like a slasher but with the classic Dracula as the bloodthirsty killer. Dracula reminds me more of Nosferatu than your typical Count look. The script is able to expand a small piece in the original classic vampire novel into it’s own feature which is very impressive. This one has a solid cast that includes Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian, Stefan Kapicic, Woody Norman, and Javier Botet. It has quality fx, production design, music, and locations. I love the atmosphere here. It’s very claustrophobic and suspenseful. This movie deserves more attention, hopefully it gets that for this home video release plus streaming. I enjoyed it more than most films that I’ve seen this year to be honest. RECOMMENDED!!!!Let’s discuss this high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks amazing on blu ray for this home video release. The main ship location really shines here. The special and visual fx look top notch in this. There’s a few audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and French: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the disc. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, the vampire slashing is elevated, and the music has a killer boost to it. It has English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.Let’s talk about the special features from Universal! It has an “Audio Commentary” with director Andre Øvredal and producer Bradley J. Fischer. This is a nice track with all kinds of information and stories about this vampire production. The little over 7 minute “Dracula & The Digital Age” features Visual effects supervisor Brad Parker gives you an inside look into the visual fx for this horror feature. The almost 11 minute “Evil is Aboard: The Making Of The Last Voyage Of The Demeter” features a variety of interviews from the cast and crew from the production. You get to go behind the scenes and experience how it was like putting together this Dracula film. The little over 8 minute “From The Pits Of Hell: Dracula Reimagined” has some interviews from the cast and the crew about their version of Dracula in The Last Voyage Of The Demeter. It has a little over 2 minute “Alternative Opening” with optional commentary from with director Andre Øvredal and producer Bradley J. Fischer. Almost 12 minutes of 8 “Deleted Scenes” which includes Clemens Picking up a Stone in Varna, Bosphorus and Constantinople, Clemens Following Huck’s Blood Trail, Clemens and Anna Talk on Deck, Crew Discuss Where the Beast Is Hiding, Finding the Corpses in the Crate, Wojchek Finds the Captain, and Clemens Visits His Father’s Grave. It has optional commentary from with director Andre Øvredal and producer Bradley J. Fischer. It also comes with a slipcover, a digital code, and a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!