Dark, disturbing, claustrophobic, and suffocating, like a dead, decomposing albatross draped upon the shoulders of the subconscious.
Neil Marshall’s The Descent was more than just another film about creatures that go bump in the dark. The primal, brutal, disgusting nature of the creatures forced the civilized protagonists to bury their modern sensibilities in order to survive. The film was less about the descent into an uncharted cave filled with flesh-devouring monsters, and more about the descent into madness. And then Marshall goes on to ask us the question to which we do not want to know the answer. Is it ever possible to go back?
And now we are hearing that Neil Marshall may be attached to direct The Last Voyage of the Demeter. If the Demeter sounds familiar to you, that’s because it is the name of the doomed vessel that transported Dracula himself from Transylvania to Britain in Bram Stoker’s signature story. The ship comes to shore with all hands slain, save for one man driven far beyond the brink of insanity.
What happened aboard the Demeter? Now, we may find out.
I use the word “may” because the production seems to be sailing in troubled waters. The story was written more than ten years ago by Bragi Schut. Schut more recently wrote Season of the Witch, which was received by critics about as well as a non-virgin sacrifice to a vengeful god. The project has also gone through several different potential directors.
Will Marshall be the hand of fate that guides this film through the storm, that its crew may be properly slaughtered? If you thought a labyrinthine cavern was claustrophobic, imagine being trapped on an old ship with a blood-thirsty creature of the night…
Let’s hope Neil Marshall will remind this modern world how a real vampire performs.