Friday, August 11, 2023

The Last Voyage Of The Demeter

It's Universal, it's Dracula, of course I was going to see it.

Which is odd because when I saw this trailer I had no damn clue it was even Dracula related, it was just a vampire movie. I had to look up the film to realize it's based on a a small section of the Dracula novel and in a happy coincidence I bought the book earlier. As an adaptation it's decent, they do take certain liberties with it some I'm fine with, other instances irked me, so fans of the book be aware. So we start in the Carpathians with a band of villagers delivering 50 boxes of soil to the Demeter for travel to London, as we meet our crew and get to know them a bit before the sun sets, blood is spilled, and paranoia starts setting in. I quite like the cast in particular Corey Hawkins as the residential doctor on board very scientific through and through, Liam Cunningham as the Captain I was pretty excited to see then remembered the grim fate of the Captain in the novel and was bummed because he is a mighty fine actor, David Dastmalchian returns as the first mate hell yes to seeing my man again, Aisling Franciosi was quite good though there just to explain a bit of backstory for Dracula, those are the main players and the cast isn't very extensive but all played well. I can't rightly remember the last horror movie I saw that was a pure period piece preceding the year 1900, which I greatly enjoyed that aspect! That shit, or should I say ship is real and impressive to know they built such an extensive set, the clothing, the weapons, it all fit wonderfully. The effects are pretty solid too, the blood effects and visible damage is gruesome, and Dracula looks damn good. I'm quite pleased with how they handled the look with him as a emaciated corpse at first before turning into a humanoid bat figure, you get bits of Nosferatu in there but ultimately it's original. The only other film version I can think of that did the humanoid bat to different effect was Coppola's Dracula, so points for originality. And he is effectively freaky and creepy, and while the movie does harbor more on the jumpscare side of things which I detest they mix it up to where it's not this thundering stinger music accompanied with each fright. Maybe I was asking a bit too much to get a faithful adaptation of that brief journal entry in the novel but honestly, it's kind of a slasher story already in the book. Weird weather patterns, this atmosphere of dread, crew members get picked off one by one, but you know what? They did more right than wrong. I really only have one major grievance with this movie and that is the matter of sunlight. Believe it or not the whole vampires shirk and die from sunlight thing is an invention of film, in the book vampires can walk in broad daylight but they are much weaker, I know it's a tradition but come on! Other than that, the subtle nods and references to both the novel and certain adaptations were appreciated, I'm happy I saw it and to support another Universal Monsters movie, and I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10. Blue Beetle next week so let's see what DC's next move will be.

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