Company: Phoenix Pictures
Written By: We can thank Season of the Witch‘s Bragi Schut for this offshoot tale of Bram Stoker’s novel. Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, The Time Traveler’s Wife) came in with Mitch Brian to do a revision. And later, Phoenix hired James V. Hart, of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to put his touch on it.
Director: Phoenix first courted FX artist Patrick Tatopoulos (Pitch Black, Godzilla) and Demeter was going to be his feature debut. The project stalled, however, and Tatopoulos moved onto Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Meanwhile, Marcus Nispel slipped into the director’s chair shortly after Friday the 13th‘s release in 2009. Stefan Ruzowitzky is the latest director to climb aboard. He helmed 2000’s Anatomie, its sequel in 2003 and 2007’s The Counterfeiters.
The Story: Taking its cue from a section of Stoker’s tome, Demeter focuses on the events that occurred on the ill-fated ship that transported Dracula to England. Alec Radu, the main character, is a Romanian hard laborer whose son is stolen away by a mysterious figure. He follows his son’s kidnapper to the seaport of Varna where the Demeter is being loaded with unusual cargo in preparation for its departure. Convinced his son is on board the ship, Alex convinces Captain James to be a part of the crew. It doesn’t take long before Alec finds his son drained of blood and the hunt for the vampire aboard the Demeter begins before it reaches Whitby Harbor.
Who is Dracula? Although the Dracula name is sparsely used, he’s often referred to as Nosferatu – an old warrior “who spilled enough blood to become death itself.” And make no mistake about it, he is a creature that remains in the shadows for a good portion of the story until his reveal. He’s human, yes, but the script calls for a ghastly guise of long, tangled air, a split lip and sharp teeth. He demonstrates various powers and the cargo he’s brought aboard with contains a black mold that slowly spreads across the ship and shouldn’t be underestimated…
Bottom Line: Of the four projects, this is the one worth bringing to the screen. It’s eerie, clever, introduces a few good twists and hosts an array of great characters – from the hot-headed Tisma to the superstitious brute Moluko. Furthermore, it gives us something we haven’t seen before. The story runs a bit long, however, and could use some trimming.
Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor