The Last Voyage of the Demeter (Collector’s Edition): Blu-Ray Review

Available this week on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is André Øvredal’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter, which was adapted from The Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. With the-exception-of The Invisible Man, classic monsters have not faired well at the box office in recent years. Attempts to bring them back have pretty much bombed. Examples would be The Mummy, which even Tom Cruise couldn’t save, Dracula Untold and most recently, The Last Voyage of the Demeter. However, I would say Demeter is the most watchable of the lot. It is also not so much about Dracula, as it is about the voyage that brought him from Varna to England and the crew that fell victim to his late-night feedings. Demeter feels more like Alien on a boat than it does a Dracula tale.

In July of 1897 the merchant ship Demeter left the port of Varna, Bulgaria and headed to England with a cargo consisting of large wooden crates. Among the crew are Captain Elliot (Liam Cunningham), quartermaster Wojcheck (David Dastmalchain), the captain’s grandson Toby (Woody Norman) and a new arrival, Clemens (Corey Hawkins), who happens to be a doctor, that is willing to work for a ride to England. There are a few other crew members on board as well.

Once the sun sets, trouble on the Demeter begins. When one of the crates falls and breaks in the cargo, Clemens discovers a woman (Aisling Franciosi) was inside. Barely alive, Clemens gives her a blood transfusion to cure what he believes is some sort of infection. Why he and the rest of the crew are unaware of, is that something else has been sleeping during the day in one of the other crates. At night, the creatures begins to pick off the crew one-by-one, leaving them in a panic.

While The Last Voyage of the Demeter does have a serviceable set design and a talented cast, the biggest problems here are the pacing and the poorly rendered CGI monster. It helps that most of the scenes involving Dracula take place in very dark locations (like at night in the rain or in the lower parts of the ship). Still, when we get a good look at him, it is not a pretty sight. While Demeter is not a long film, it feels long in stretches. That’s because there is a lack of tension. As I mentioned, the cast is good, but they don’t have a whole lot to work with. The Last Voyage of the Demeter is okay at best.

Bonus Features:

  • ALTERNATE OPENING – Commentary available with Director André Øvredal and Producer Bradley J. Fischer
  • DELETED SCENES – Commentary available with Director André Øvredal and Producer Bradley J. Fischer
    • o    Clemens Picking up a Stone in Varna
      o    Bosphorus and Constantinople
      o    Clemens Following Huck’s Blood Trail
      o    Clemens and Anna Talk on Deck
      o    Crew Discuss Where the Beast Is Hiding
      o    Finding the Corpses in the Crate
      o    Wojchek Finds the Captain
      o    Clemens Visits His Father’s Grave
  • FROM THE PITS OF HELL: DRACULA REIMAGINED – Learn how the creative team behind THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER conjured a new nightmare.
  • EVIL IS ABOARD: THE MAKING OF THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER – Set sail for an exclusive journey inside the making of the movie with the filmmakers and cast.
  • DRACULA & THE DIGITAL AGE – Visual effects supervisor Brad Parker leads a detailed look at the imaginative work that adds fresh layers of fear to Dracula, creates realistic water, and enhances scenery with bleeding-edge VFX.

By: Marc Ferman