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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Last Voyage of the Demeter - A Sinking Ship with Little Emotional Impact

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Released 08-11-2023

Watched 08-13-2023

Reviewed 08-14-2023

Viewed in Theater - Using Cinemark Movie Club

"Evil is on board. Powerful evil."

"The Last Voyage of the Demeter" sets sail on an intriguing premise, only to become lost in a sea of missed opportunities. While André Øvredal's direction and the cinematography are praiseworthy, crafting an eerie atmosphere filled with visually haunting images, the rest of the film is largely anchored by a lack of character development.

The tale of the Demeter, adapted from "The Captain's Log" chapter in Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula," should have been a riveting horror experience. Instead, the film suffers from a fatal flaw: you really don't care about the characters. With a promising cast including Corey Hawkins as Clemens, Aisling Franciosi as Anna, Liam Cunningham as Captain Elliot, David Dastmalchian as Wojchek, and Javier Botet as the menacing Dracula, the film had all the ingredients for a memorable journey. Unfortunately, it leaves viewers adrift.

The characters are underdeveloped, their motivations murky, and the relationships between them shallow. If we don't care if they live or die, the killings have no impact, and indeed, there is only one death that resonates at all in the film. But even this moment comes too late, a fleeting glimmer of what could have been rather than a turning point.

The storytellers should have spent more time building the backstory of the characters. A little more depth, a glimpse into their pasts, or a hint at their internal struggles might have turned this from a forgettable watch into a horror classic. Unfortunately, what could have been a terrifying voyage into the unknown becomes a lackluster trip to nowhere.

Cinematography aside, "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" is a film that struggles to engage its audience. Perhaps there is a lesson here for future adaptations: a beautiful ship is nothing without a crew to bring it to life.

Wait for streaming, or maybe don't bother. This is one voyage you might want to miss.


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