Home Movie Reviews ‘Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter’ – Review
‘Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter’ – Review

‘Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter’ – Review


Brace yourself for the cold sweat of fear to run down the back of your neck, because the lord of darkness rises from the depths of hell in the bone-chilling new horror experience, Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter and it is ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING!

Strange and horrifying events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage from Transylvania to London, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship: a legendary vampire known as Dracula. When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. There is no trace of the crew.

For more than 126 years, Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been a cornerstone of the horror genre, inspiring countless films, television shows, radio plays and stage productions of the vampire world. Audiences know the story, and its lead character, the romantic, dark and scintillating Count Dracula. But if you think that’s what you’ll get here in Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter, well, think again. Director André Øvredal instead takes the audience on a gothic hell ride of fear, as he looks for inspiration from Stoker’s work, and its infamous chapter, ‘The Captain’s Log’, and unleashes a fright fest of intense claustrophobia and a maelstrom of fear.

Øvredal pulls together an eclectic range of performers, including Corey Hawkins as Clemens, a doctor seeking to prove himself and who joins the Demeter, Liam Cunningham as Captain Elliot, the ship’s stoic captain, David Dastmalchian as Wojchek, its hardened and irascible first mate, and Aisling Franciosi as Anna, an unwitting stowaway with a dark secret, and throws them right into the pit of hell with this picture. From its opening moments to its closing frame, Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter doesn’t let up for a moment, and its cast is committed to this terrifying story and their parts as the crew of this damned vessel. With their director steering course, this cast change in the shadow of fear, and their reactions and frantic kinetic movement keep the audience on their toes.

Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter is an exercise in pure horror filmmaking, and Øvredal brings his skills and talents, honed on freaky projects like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, to bear on this picture. Capturing the dark, gothic energy of the original novel, Øvredal leans into the shadows and blackness of the dark, and the Demeter’s closed-in, tight and claustrophobic setting makes the horror even scarier. As one by one, the crew of the Demeter are picked off by this ancient and hungry evil, the horror ramps up, and it’s the film’s use of unexpected narrative moments and Øvredal’s desire to play against cliche and the trappings of the genre that keeps audiences on edge.

Evil rises in Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter, and it is a true terror of the night with this foul creature. And this is not the Dracula we expected. Neither man nor beast, but instead something worse, this Dracula or Nosferatu is a hissing, spitting, snarling devil of hell itself, whose hunger and sinister presence are in every frame of the film. With its sickly eyes, leathery skin, and sharp fangs, Øvredal’s Dracula is a beast of the darkest abyss, and it carries one motivation: feed. This is a new type of Dracula that modern audiences haven’t seen before, and its presence, and the horror it unleashes, makes for an incredibly scary watch.

Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter explores fresh territory within the vampire genre, and brings new horrors to the surface of this classic tale. This telling of the Dracula mythos is sure to send a ghoulish shiver up your spine, while your body shudders with fright, and Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter is a picture that will leave you with plenty of sleepless nights.

Image: Studio Canal