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The Last Voyage of the Demeter Review: A Journey Best Left Uncharted

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Dracula has donned many capes and worn many faces, from the suave charms of Lugosi to the visceral menace of Oldman. But in André Ovredal’s “The Last Voyage of the Demeter,” we find ourselves aboard a ship where terror seems to have missed its embarkation, lost in a sea of mediocrity. This movie’s Dracula lacks the bite, and its voyage is one you might wish to disembark before reaching its port of destination.

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“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” attempts to chart a new course for the age-old legend, focusing on the vampire’s voyage from Transylvania to England. But it stumbles over an anchor of dull execution. André Ovredal, known for infusing fresh life into the genre, appears trapped in the ship’s hull of clichés and uninspiring characters.

Javier Botet’s portrayal of Dracula, though terrifying in appearance, lacks the nuance and seductive danger that the character demands. Resembling more a beast from a different franchise than the lord of the night, his Dracula draws blood but fails to draw interest. The stylistic choices lean towards gory Hammer Films aesthetics, but this attempt to capture a high-class veneer feels like a sinking ship bereft of the wit and originality that could have saved it.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter Review
(from left) Nosferatu (Javier Botet) and Clemens (Corey Hawkins) in The Last Voyage of the Demeter, directed by André Øvredal.

The ensemble, led by Corey Hawkins’ Clemens, performs admirably but is let down by a script that feels as tedious as a never-ending voyage. Characters are slow to respond to the obvious perils around them, and the repetitiveness of the attacks lacks the thrill that should accompany such a dread-infused journey.

The introduction of themes like racism and the portrayal of Dracula as a wild, animal-like creature could have added depth, but instead, they feel like missed opportunities. The film’s atmospherics, though handled expertly, do not translate into the emotional resonance necessary to make the viewer feel a part of this nightmarish journey.

The backstory of Dracula is well-tread terrain, and while this film attempts to present a unique perspective by focusing on a specific chapter from Stoker’s novel, it fails to bring anything new to the table. The scares are more visceral than intellectual, and the terror never quite reaches the heights that the towering legacy of Dracula demands.

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The connection to Stoker’s novel, intended as a clever nod, instead becomes a reminder of what could have been—an adaptation rich in thematic complexity and character development, all lost in translation to the screen.

“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” is a ship adrift in the sea of Dracula retellings. Its style, though aiming for sophistication, feels trapped in mediocrity. The themes and emotions, though present, never rise above the surface, and the legend of Dracula is left wanting for fresh blood. Though there are glimmers of artistic merit in its visual presentation, this film’s voyage is one best left uncharted.

RATING: 2.0 out of 5

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is in theaters now.

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1 Response

  1. Tiffany Ahl says:

    not scary at all.

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