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How Stephen King Inspired The Last Voyage Of The Demeter's Take On Horror

Contains spoilers for "The Last Voyage of the Demeter"

What happens when you're stuck on a ship in the middle of the ocean with a vampire on board? You're in for a very bad time if "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" is any indication.

The new horror film is adapted from a single chapter of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," where an entire crew is lost, as the titular monster, played expertly by Javier Botet, makes his way to London. Dracula has seen many adaptations over the years, but in the new movie, he's pure nightmare fuel. He's tall and pale, with wings that can encompass an entire person. It's vastly different from Bela Lugosi's version, often considered one of the best versions of Dracula, but the filmmakers drew from a worthwhile source to design this interpretation of the bloodsucker.

Looper attended a Q&A featuring director André Øvredal and producers Bradley J. Fischer and Mike Medavoy, where they spoke at length about bringing this particular story to the big screen. Fischer discussed how they came to arrive at the monstrosity seen in the movie, "We thought it was a cool opportunity to see a version of [Dracula] that was inspired, I think, stylistically by ... the [F.W.] Murnau, Max Schreck [of 'Nosferatu'] version, that was a reference for us. I think 'Salem's Lot' was a bit of a reference as well." Stephen King's 1975 book, about a small town being overrun by vampires, has received several adaptations, and the crew should be delighted to hear that they have the official seal of approval from King himself.

Stephen King calls The Last Voyage of the Demeter a 'throat-ripping good time'

When looking at Dracula from "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" and the vampires from "Salem's Lot," particularly the 1979 miniseries, it's easy to see similarities. They're both portrayed as pale, hairless monsters with sharp teeth and eyes that can pierce through your soul. These aren't the fun-loving vampires who look like humans like you might find on "What We Do in the Shadows."

But any good monster is open to interpretation, and it seems like Stephen King really digs what the filmmakers have done with "The Last Voyage of the Demeter." In one of the highest honors any horror director can receive, King tweeted his thoughts on the new movie, "I was doubtful about THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER, but it's a throat-ripping good time. It reminded me of the best of the Hammer movies from the 60s and 70s." Hammer Films grew in prominence throughout the mid-20th century, producing movies centered on classic monsters, including Dracula. In fact, Christopher Lee, who would go on to play Saruman in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and Count Dooku in the "Star Wars" prequels, rose to fame for playing Count Dracula in several Hammer films.

It's safe to say King knows a thing or two about horror, and he's utilized vampires in plenty of stories outside of "Salem's Lot," like "The Dark Tower," "Wolves of the Calla," and "One for the Road," to name a few. For now, fans can see the latest component of Dracula lore by checking out "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" in theaters.