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Blog - A Year of Dracula, Part 2 -
The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

December 23, 2023

This log is a record and a warning.  And if it finds you, God help you, as he has abandoned the Demeter.  We tried to stop him.  If we didn't succeed, God have mercy on your souls.

In July I saw on imdb.com that a movie called The Last Voyage of the Demeter, based on the rather creepy chapter 7 of the novel Dracula, was coming out in August,  Chapter 7 is the log of the cargo ship Demeter, unwittingly transporting Dracula to England.  Director André Øvredal described the movie as "basically Alien on a ship in 1897."

 

(Also:  In the movie, the ship has a doctor named Clemens.  Alien 3 had a doctor named Clemens played by Charles Dance.  Coincidence?!?!  Probably.)

 

As I had rather recently read Dracula (see part 1), I was excited to see it. There was no way I was going to get my wife to see a horror movie with me, so I reached out to my cinephile friend James to see if he was interested.  He had seen the trailer, and would also not be able to drag his wife to it.  We saw it the second week it was in theaters at the only screening available.

 

It was fantastic.

 

There's no sugarcoating it, though.  This movie *bombed.* It made back less than half of its 45 million dollar budget.  As of this writing, James is the only other person I know who has seen it.

 

Non-Spoiler Thoughts

 

I'm not really a horror person as I have a very active imagination, an intrusive inner monologue, and some unresolved childhood fear of the dark.  The movie takes place almost entirely on the Demeter and it has an escalating, claustrophobic sense of doom, but I would say it's more tense than scary.   And it's *bleak.* 

 

The film is just shy of 2 hours but feels shorter.  There's no real wasted scenes. 

 

The Look

 

Last Voyage of the Demeter looks great.  The first scene after the prologue, set in the Bulgarian port of Varna, was filmed on location at Malta and it's nice that it's a real place, especially for a movie with a fairly low budget.  On the whole the effects and set look mostly practical and to the extent that they are enhanced, the CGI is pretty invisible, with maybe one small exception at the very end.  It's not egregious, and probably only stood out to me in the theater because everything else was so seamless.  I didn't really notice it on my rewatch at home.

 

The Demeter itself is impressive.  You get a good sense of the layout early on which really helps later in the film.  It's a busy set, with lots of ropes, creaking beams, and sails.  This adds to the horror effect in the nighttime shots.  Is that thing in the background just a swinging rope, or something else? 

 

In the dark, the characters are frequently framed in medium and wide shots with lots of negative space, which both imparts a sense of isolation and almost forces the viewer to frantically scan the background looking for any movement.  Which might just be the sails, anyway.

 

There are also lots of rather restrained shots of the sunset, sometimes small in the distance on a very wide shot of the Demeter, or in the background of a close-up of the rigging.  There's no heavy handed musical cues during these shots, so it's just this ominous signifier, especially before the characters know they're in danger.

 

The Acting and Characters

 

The acting is universally good, with Corey Hawkins as Clemens, Aisling Franciosi as Anna, and Liam Cunningham as Captain Eliot being standouts for me.  Even the kid (Woody Norman as the Captain's grandson Toby) is good.  There isn't a lot of time spent characterizing anyone outside of Clemens, the main character and protagonist, but it's all done well.  The crew of the Demeter all know each other, and it definitely feels like it.  Clemens, a last minute addition to the crew, is the outsider and the audience surrogate.  The movie occasionally takes the time to give a pair of characters a nice moment of interaction and it goes a long way to making these feel like real people in a bad situation, rather than just slasher film cannon fodder.  Also the characters don't act irrationally to contrive conflict.  For example, the first mate, Wojcheck, is a little abrasive and antagonistic to Clemens, seeing him as a tourist, but he isn't unreasonable just to create obstacles.  

 

Non intrusive score

 

I also very much liked Bear McCreary's non-intrusive score.  It sounded good and was well used. It frequently dropped out and the movie just sat in the sounds of the ship.  There were several moments where the score felt, I don't know, "ambient," to the point where I almost didn't notice that it was there.  (Unrelated: McCreary composed my favorite version of All Along the Watchtower for the early 2000s Battlestar Galactica show)

 

The Man, Himself

 

I really like this movie's take on Dracula.  It's very different than what we usually see.  I'll leave it at that until we get to spoilers.

 

Recommendation

 

Go watch this movie.  

 

It's a good film and, more generally, I want low-mid budget movies for adults to be profitable so more of them get made.  I would love for Demeter to get second life as a cult hit.  

 

Even if you're not a horror fan, I'd still recommend it.  Maybe in the daytime, though.

 

There's going to be spoilers from here on, so if you want to experience it without any outside influence, stop reading here and check it out.  (Also don't watch the trailer.)   

 

Spoiler Thoughts

 

"Please. No."

 

"It is not a man."

"Then an animal?"

"No, it is not some mindless animal either.  Do not make that mistake."

 

This version of Dracula is monstrous; a spindly batlike creature played by 6'7" 120lb Javier Botet.   He is of the nosferatu type, wrinkled and emaciated.  His eyes are dull, almost zombie-like.  He only has about three lines, but they all show that he is not only intelligent, but deeply malevolent.  

 

Two of his lines mock the characters before killing them.  I was actually surprised when he spoke the first time because his form is so monstrous I didn't think he would speak at all and the almost subdued whisper-hiss of his voice was unexpected.  It was very menacing.   Dracula's first line comes after he brutally murders his second victim, Larsen.  Olgaren, also present, says "Please, no!" and flees up the rigging.  Dracula follows and before attacking pauses and whispers "Please. No" before giving a hideous grin.  He later repeats Joseph's quotation of scripture before killing him.  He's enjoying this. 

 

The movie has a really interesting take on him in his first few appearances.  The action really kicks off when one of Dracula's crates topples over in a storm and inside it Clemens finds Anna, a Romanian woman covered in bite marks, that Dracula brought along to feed on during the journey.  

 

In Dracula's first appearance, having lost Anna, he's a moaning, shambling mess. He's mostly offscreen, just out of the camera's sightline, but he sounds like he's in rough shape.  He is played like an addict in withdrawal.  He's a wheezing wreck, barely able to crawl through the boat before killing all the livestock.

 

The first time you get a real good look at him is when Petrofsky finds him on the deck a few nights later, almost writhing in the fetal position.  He's revealed in a fairly long distance shot in the dark and busy deck set.  Is that an animal?  A stowaway?  Pertrofsky isn't quite sure what he's even looking at, and neither is the viewer.  Dracula is still pretty far away when he, in a blur, suddenly closes the distance and slashes Petrofsky's throat.  While Petrofsky is bleeding out and trying to crawl away, Dracula desperately licks his blood and flesh off the deck and then drags himself over to Petrofsky to feed off him.

 

He's much more collected the next time we see him, when he kills Larsen and attacks Olgaren.

 

The movie isn't super coy about showing him; pretty early on you see him slide out of his box of earth.  You don't see him all that well, but you get a sense of the lanky bat-like aesthetic.  It's probably better that they don't feel the need to really withhold him; after the prologue title cards, you already know what he is and, since he is so different than the audience is probably expecting, showing him relatively early on gets the shock out of the way so the they can just react to the horror of the situation and not just his form.

 

I also very much liked the late movie reveal late that he can fly.  Joseph has absconded with a life boat and is rowing away into a thick fog and you just hear flapping noises.  It was definitely an "uh oh" moment for me in the theater.  I probably shouldn't have been caught offguard, as his whole aesthetic is "bat" but it was still surprising.  This reveal, which none of the characters other than the about to be murdered Joseph see, pays off later and adds some fatalistic tension as the audience knows the last survivors' final plan isn't going to work because the monster can fly.

 

I also liked that crosses didn't seem to do anything.

 

"Dude, they haven't seen any vampire movies."

 

It's hard to separate your experience of decades of vampire media in general and Dracula media in specific, and put yourself in the place of characters who have no idea what kind of story they are in. 

 

Nick Mason on the Weekly Planet podcast, shared an amusing anecdote from his theater experience:   "There was a guy behind me in the cinema, at one point he went 'Uh, just use fire.  Just use fire.'  I wanted to be like "Dude... they haven't seen any vampire movies."

 

Overall, the movie handled this well.  The characters' first response to the weirdness going on is to rationalize what's happening.  After the bloodbath with the livestock, Clemens suggests it might be rabies, even when he has seen the bite marks.  He desperately wants a logical explanation.  And later, surely Petrofsky just got drunk and fell overboard?  The more superstitious sailors and the very religious Joseph drop their rationalizations faster than Clemens does, but no one immediately jumps to "Must be a vampire."  In fact, the term "vampire" is never even used.  Not even Anna has a word for what Dracula is.  

 

I liked that Anna isn't the mystical Romani who just fills in all the lore and exposition when the plot requires it.  She knows more about Dracula than the crew, but still not that much.  When Clemens asks her if bullets will work she says "He has controlled my village for generations.  Do you think I have any notion how to kill him?"  The reveal that he's an ancient evil that her village makes deals with for their own safety just reinforces the magnitude of what they're up against.  (Giving Anna to Dracula for this journey is part of the most recent deal.)

 

I also very much liked that Anna's reveal of Dracula's name isn't played as a big reveal with an intrusive music queue and a weighty pause.  It's just a name.  It doesn't mean anything to Clemens, and doesn't mean much to Anna either.   Dracula is just what they call him.  The movie didn't stop to wink at the audience.

 

The film is good about this in general.  It doesn't stop to spout lore.  The first image after the title drop was a close up of the dragon symbol on Dracula's crates as they are being transported to the Demeter.  In Romanian, the word for "dragon" is "Dracul"but no character stops to explain this.  It's just a nice ominous detail. 

 

When Clemens and Anna open Dracula's crates and find all the dirt, they have no idea what it means and they don't speculate.  It is an unexpected and unsettling thing for them to find, yet another "What. The. Hell. Is. This." moment for the them.  It's a kind of Easter egg for audience if they know the story already, but there isn't an undue weight put on it by the characters for fan service.  (In the novel, Dracula needs, or at least believes he needs, to sleep in the earth from his homeland.)

 

In general it was refreshingly not trying to be a prequel, with possibly the brief epilogue being the exception.

 

"May Toby find his next home to be a kinder one. Amen."

 

Probably the most resonant and thematically powerful death in the movie is Toby, the Captain's grandson.  As I mentioned above, he's well acted, but he's also well written.  He's very clearly a sweet boy but not in a saccharine or irritatingly precocious way.  Other than Clemens he probably gets the most characterization.  The script allows him to have quiet moments with both Clemens and Captain Eliot and that helps him become an emotional anchor for the audience.   

 

The scene where Clemens encounters him after his beloved dog Huckleberry and all the livestock are killed is particularly good for this.  Clemens finds him crying and tries to comfort him with with "Huck was a good dog."  Toby shakes his head and says it isn't just about Huckleberry.  The livestock were his responsibility and he's scared he let the captain down, let everyone down, and upset that he failed in his duty.  It was a more realistically complex emotional reaction than I was expecting, and I daresay than most movies would bother with, which made him feel like a real person and someone easy to empathize with.  And it's not just the audience that likes Toby.  The other characters clearly love him too.  

 

A lot of the awfulness of his death is that it is both utterly traumatic to all of the characters and utterly perfunctory to Dracula.  Toby is just another morsel of food on the ship.  Dracula kills him just as casually as anyone else.

 

The sequence, the tensest in an already stressful film, begins with Toby encountering Olgaren alone in the dark below deck.  Olgaren, recently bitten, is under Dracula's thrall and let's say "vampire adjacent."  Toby, who of course could not possibly know the danger he is in, reacts happily to seeing the man seemingly recovered and out of bed.  Olgaren grabs Toby and starts to drag him away.   Toby wriggles free and barricades himself in the captain's quarters.

 

Olgaren starts to bash the door down with his head while Toby hides under a table, praying and clutching an icon to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.   The camera assumes Toby's point of view, the table legs giving a claustrophobic framing with very little peripheral vision while the banging continues.   

 

Then it just stops and there's silence for what feels like ages.   

 

I assumed that this was the horror movie trope of the false relief, with Toby creeping slowly out only to have Olgaren burst through the door.  That the lull was a purely dramatic device as prelude to a jump scare.  But it wasn't. It was far worse.  

 

On a second viewing it was clear that, earlier, Olgaren was trying to drag Toby to the cargo hold to Dracula, and he suddenly stopped trying to bash down the door because Dracula was now in the room with Toby.  Dracula's presence isn't revealed right away, though, and the tension just continues to build.  

 

The rest of the crew, who had finally heard the racket, arrive and subdue Olgaren.  Then, through a broken panel of the locked door, they see Dracula in the shadows.  The scene is shot from their perspective through the door panel and Dracula quickly scuttles out of the frame, where they can't see him.  This voyeuristic framing gives the scene a sort of helpless and desperate energy, stripping the characters of any agency.  They go berserk, shouting Toby's name and helplessly battering at the door.  There's nothing they can do, and since the camera's gaze is theirs, it imparts that helplessness to the audience.

 

After feeding on Toby, Dracula vanishes, and Toby never regains consciousness.  He dies soon after.  The impact of this is magnified through the eyes, and suffering, of the characters.  Captain Eliot's grief has an authentically devastated stillness about it; Clemens seems dazed.  A small moment I really appreciated was when Clemens walks through the galley and encounters Abrams.  Abrams, not present when Toby took his last breath, immediately says "How's Toby, shall I bring him some-" before trailing off when he sees Clemens's face.  The crew loved Toby.  Now he's dead. And in his last moments he was alone and afraid.  

 

The movie takes its time mourning him.   There's a very powerful moment as they are preparing to lay him to rest in the sea, shrouded in sails, that directly echoes the end of King Lear.  In the play's final scene Lear, holding his dead daughter Cordelia, suddenly bolts up and says:

 

Do you see this? Look on her, look, her lips,

Look there, look there!

 

He then drops dead and we never find out what he thought he saw.

 

Before the Demeter's crew can put Toby overboard, Captain Eliot stops them with "Wait.  I saw him move. He’s alive."  This moment is actually very tense.  As a viewer who kind of knows how the vampire thing works, you're not sure if this is grief and denial or if Toby actually moved.  

 

The movie sits in this ambiguity for several moments before the Captain tears open the shroud.  It lingers again, and then, of course, Toby's eyes snap open and he grabs the Captain before catching fire in the sunlight.  The crew pulls the burned Captain away and manages to get the howling Toby overboard.  The last shot of Toby is of his face snarling, in pain or in rage, and turning to ash as he sinks out of sight.

 

It's an awful end.

 

One of the main themes of the movie is the incomprehensibility of the evils of this world, and our seeming powerlessness before those evils. And Toby is the avatar of this idea, both for Clemens and the audience.  Toby serves a similar function to Cordelia in King Lear.  They're both loving, sweet, and dutiful children  And their deaths are an indictment of a brutal, horrific world. "As flys to wanton boys are we to the gods: They kill us for their sport."  (King Lear, IV, i)

 

The movie weaponizes audience expectations and uses them to bring us into the characters' space.  The audience, on some level, believes that surely the social contract in movies means the innocent kid is going to make it, just as the characters believe that surely in a world with a good God, Toby is going to be ok.  So when he is killed, way earlier than expected, if expected at all, it unmoors the viewers as much as the characters.   It breaks the contract and gives this awful sense not only of how fucked the characters are, but how fucked the world they inhabit is.

 

And you were a fool for thinking it was going to go any other way.

 

Anna's elegy for Toby is beautiful, and pretty plainly describes where the characters are at:

 

Dear Lord…take this sweet boy.  May he never again be hungry, never be cold… never be scared.  This world is cruel and uncaring.  May Toby find his next home to be a kinder one.  Amen.

"The world cares little for sense, Mr. Clemens"

"What do you want Mr. Clemens?"

"To understand this world.  The more I see the less any of it makes sense."

"The world cares little for sense, Mr. Clemens"    

 

Facing and accepting the movie's brand of cosmic horror, symbolized by the death of Toby, is Clemens's main arc.  A doctor by training, he is a man who, near the start, explicitly says, "I don't believe in superstitions. I believe in science and nature." 

 

The conflict between the naturalism Clemens clings to and the un-naturalism they are facing is a persistent thread.  Early on in the rigging, before anyone has died, while working with Olgaren to trim the sails in a storm, Clemens responds to Olgaren's metaphorical statement that "The skies are angry," with "The skies feel nothing, my friend.  It’s precipitation and air pressure, as knowable as the workings of this ship."  

 

Given how little the crew knows about the workings of this particular ship on this particular voyage, this is an incredibly ironic statement.  And it is patently false on its face, given that the livestock has already been killed and Clemens has no idea how or why.  Olgaren, who caught a glimpse of something the night before, responds that "something unnatural" is on board with them.  Shortly after, Joseph points out to Clemens that there are no rats on the ship anymore.  Clemens tries to rationalize that they must have run when the dog Huckleberry went rabid, a diagnosis he doesn't even actually believe, and Joseph replies with "You could burn this ship to the keel, Mr. Clemens, and the rats would just nest in the ashes....A boat without rats, such a thing is against nature."

 

The conflict with Dracula taps into larger parts of his character and background.   Clemens has to understand, has to discover there's a reason for everything.  He does not want to believe there are impersonal forces he is at the mercy of, battering him about like the Demeter in an unnatural storm.   He needs misfortune to be explicable, a result of cause and effect, not a feature of a world that is uncaring at best, or actively hostile at worst. 

 

He makes this explicit to Wojchek, just before the last night:

 

I was one of the first Black doctors to graduate from Cambridge with medical degree.  [...]  I applied to all the best hospitals in the country.  Immediately, I was told there were no positions available.  I fought tooth and nail for my education, and yet no one would let me practice it. [...] I need this world to make sense...This beast and mark my words, it is a beast deep down, I need it to make sense, too.  I need to know why it is the way it is and why it does what it does.  And then I will remind the beast that it, like the world, has absolutely no hold over me.

 

The universe has to be a rational place where merit is not ignored because of racism, where sweet children like Toby are not senseless murdered, and evil is not personified by a centuries old blood drinking monster killing them for no reason other than they happened to be standing there.

 

At the end, as the sole survivor of the Demeter, he finally accepts that the rational world he hopes for is not the one he lives in:

 

I have finally seen the true darkness that dwells beneath the surface of this world, the evil that neither science nor reason can explain.  Yet I have also seen its beauty and those willing to give all to protect it.

 

It's a grim and bleak, almost Absurdist, message.  Rationality and reason won't save you.  And judging from how crosses don't seem to do anything to Dracula, God won't either.  The fight, the striving, is all.  "If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."  (Angel, S2E16)

Or, to quote Lear again:

Men must endure 

Their going hence, even as their coming hither;

Ripeness is all: come on.

 

-King Lear, IV,ii

"The coast.... so close.  It's close"

 

I really appreciated how the final confrontation went down.  They've finally sighted England and no matter what, this will be the last night on board.

 

The crew's realization that Dracula was picking them off slowly, one by one, not because he was scared of confronting the armed crew, but because he was rationing them was a good reveal.  The change from 'Phew, we're almost to England!" to "Oh no.  We're almost to England. He doesn't need us anymore" is palpable and deflating.  It also takes a well worn horror trope, where a unstoppable monster inexplicably kills the characters one at a time and gives it an in-world justification.

 

You already know they're all screwed, but it's cool watching them make a pretty defensible plan to lure Dracula onto the deck, shoot him from the crow's nest, and then scuttle the Demeter and escape in the life boats, hopefully trapping Dracula on the sinking ship.  It's a reasonable plan that is not going to work because of things the characters are not aware of, but the movie has already revealed to the audience.  Dracula can fly and can also seemingly control the weather, the latter of which isn't explicitly shown in the movie but can be inferred by the convenient storms and fogs that show up to assist him.

 

They set about their plan, Anna and Clemens at the helm, Wojcheck and Abrams in the crows nest.  The sun sets, and then a blinding mist rolls in.  And then Wojheck and Abrams hear the flapping.   

 

It all goes about as poorly as you'd expect.  Captain Eliot, Abrams and Wojcheck are dead, the Demeter is leaking but not sinking, and Clemens and Anna, after managing to temporarily pin Dracula under a falling mast, leap overboard in the storm.

 

The next morning, Anna and Clemens cling to driftwood, land in the distance.   "The coast.... so close.  It's close"   They almost made it.  Anna is succumbing to Dracula's infection, which had been temporarily held at bay by Clemens's blood transfusions.   And she comes closer to dying on her own terms than anyone else in the film.

 

I don’t want to become…My whole life… my people, the devil, they chose for me. I choose this.  No one else.

 

She floats away from Clemens, bravely facing the sunrise and catches fire without a sound.  She's led a miserable life in a miserable world.  The sunlight releases her.

 

Start Later, End Earlier

 

I do have a few critiques of the film, but I guess the biggest are that I would have started the film a few seconds later, and ended a few minutes earlier.

 

It opens with exposition text explicitly describing it as the story of the doomed ship Demeter from Bram Stoker's Dracula.  But it then immediately goes into a prologue where the English constables find the wreck of the Demeter in a storm at Whitby.  When a constable, traumatized by whatever he has seen on the ship, hands over the Captain's log, Captain Eliot says in voiceover:

 

This log is a record and a warning.  And if it finds you, God help you, as he has abandoned the Demeter.  We tried to stop him.  If we didn't succeed, God have mercy on your souls.

 

Then the title card appears.

 

It's a really good beginning. It absolutely did not need opening text telling us basically exactly what we're immediately about to see.  It kind of feels like the filmmakers or studio or whoever was worried that if they didn't say "Dracula' in the first few seconds that they'd lose people or something.  It added nothing, and kind of sucked some of the power from the prologue that's actually, you know, the moving pictures I was there to see.

 

I think I would have preferred if it had lost the epilogue too, where Clemens, now in London, vows to track down and destroy Dracula.   It's the only part that felt like a "We're going to start an expanded universe!" (I don't think they were actually planning to, it just had that vibe.)  It struck me as the kind of thing that gets tacked on when a test audience thinks the ending is too grim. 

 

I think the very end would have been a lot stronger if it had ended in the water, with Clemens's status in doubt.  He didn't defeat the incomprehensible evil, but he survived, maybe.  Maybe that's enough.  They could have even still had him say most of his line from the epilogue, alone on the wreckage:

 

I have finally seen the true darkness that dwells beneath the surface of this world, the evil that neither science nor reason can explain.  Yet I have also seen its beauty and those willing to give all to protect it.

 

And then he could steel himself, and start swimming for shore.

 

I just don't think the stuff in London was necessary, and it weakened a really powerful ending scene with Anna and Clemens.

 

All in all those are pretty minor quibbles.  The epilogue is only like 2 minutes long and the opening text is just seconds, really. 

 

The Marketing

 

The marketing for this movie really wanted you to know as soon as possible that this was a Dracula story.   The trailer has a mini-trailer in the first ten seconds which includes Anna saying "We call him Dracula" and then there's text that says "Trailer starts now" which....  Is that a thing now?  A condensed 10 second trailer before the actual trailer starts?  Is that so it can be shared on TikTok or Instagram Reels or something?  (I don't watch many trailers anymore.  I love them though.)

 

I see the point in doing that, but the movie bombed, so clearly the Dracula name recognition didn't end up mattering too much.

 

If you take out the 10 second pre-trailer, the rest of the trailer is... a mixed bag.  The part of the trailer setting up the premise chooses some weird details to focus on.  Past that it's alright I guess, though it shows way more than it should.  You get a good look at Dracula's wings, in a shot I'm not sure is in the actual movie, and you even see him flying which would have taken the wind out of a good reveal.   Also, using a version of "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" as the needle drop is really on the nose.  Between Anna's "We call him Dracula" and Billy Corgan singing "The world is a vampire" it's.... desperate?  LIke, I get it, thanks for making sure I understand what I'm watching.   I felt like a movie exec was shaking me and shouting "It's Dracula! Vampires! You like vampires, right? Right?!!! Right!!!!!?!?!?!??!"

 

I guess if you're scared the audience won't see a movie they don't know everything about then it makes sense.  I wonder if that fear is born out in box office numbers, or should studios give potential audiences more credit?  I'm really glad I didn't see the trailer before I saw the movie.  Anyone who has read the novel would know the broad strokes from the title, but there were a lot of aesthetic and plot details shown in the trailer that I'm glad I didn't know about beforehand.

 

I wonder how long a person who was not familiar with the details of the novel, and didn't see the marketing or the opening expository text, would have taken to figure out what was happening.  Would it have been more effective?  Would it make the viewer relate more to the in-over-their-head characters and maybe been closer to the experience of book readers in non-vampire saturated 1897?  I can't help but think the movie would have been a better experience for this theoretical viewer if the marketing had leaned into the Alien-style horror aspect rather than the Dracula aspect.   Then the reveal that it was a vampire, the vampire, would have been maybe a buzz-worthy twist.  

 

None of this really matters, I just think it's interesting to think about how the experience of a movie can be affected by the marketing, which doesn't care at all about preserving the filmmaker's vision if that can't be used to sell tickets.

 

I also I think the movie poster tagline is funny:  "The Legend of Dracula is Born." 

 

... Not really.  This being a direct adaptation of the seventh chapter of the novel, I think Jonathan Harker would like a word about that.  And Anna explicitly says he's been around for generations, so yeah.

 

Anyway, if you still haven't watched this movie, go see it.  If you have, tell a friend to watch it.

-m

Note: See Part 3 for my look at Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) and Dracula (1931)

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