Movie Review: The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

Synopsis: The merchant ship Demeter takes on cargo in Bulgaria and sets sail for London. At first, things seem to be going smoothly but a half-dead female stowaway is soon discovered in one of the crates and not long after that, crewmembers are brutally killed one-by-one whenever the sun goes down. The deaths are eventually blamed on a terrible evil known to many by the name Dracula.

Who's in it? The movie stars Corey HawkinsAisling FranciosiLiam CunninghamDavid Dastmalchian and Javier Botet.

Review: My wife wanted to see this movie when it was out at theaters, but I had a lot of doubts about it. My biggest concern was, since it is a movie based off a chapter in the book Dracula, and Demeter's fate is fairly common knowledge, I thought it would end up being too predictable to be entertaining.

We finally got around to watching the movie last night on Paramount Plus and it turns out I was wrong. The movie was much worse than I was expecting it to be.

The foreknowledge of what becomes of Demeter wound up being a big part of that, as I suspected would be the case. And it's not as though the movie tries to hide it in the hopes people haven't read the book or seen any other movie based off of Bram Stoker's creation. The very opening scene reveals the deserted ship and the fate of its crew. This in turn really does detract from the scarier elements in the movie. Half the fun of horror films is not knowing who will live or die and, while there is one survivor, it's not enough of a twist that has enough impact to make up for this.

My bigger problem with the movie, however, turned out to be the lack of urgency displayed by the crew, even as their numbers dwindled. It's not like they didn't know what was happening. The stowaway, Anna (Franciosi) pretty much spelled it out for them. Heck, they even figured out where Dracula (Botet) was hiding during the day. Yet, instead of being proactive and trying to kill the vampire when he was most vulnerable, they instead just waited around until after dark and continued to give him the advantage. It was almost as though they wanted to die horrible deaths.

Even their big plan at the end made zero sense in this regard. It probably would have worked had they done it right away. Instead, they waited until nightfall for reasons that just didn't make any sense. I was honestly getting kind of irritated with the overall stupidity.

Final Opinion: I can see what the filmmakers were attempting to do and there were some scenes in the movie that were somewhat entertaining. However, the combination of knowing in advance what was going to happen and the crew members seeming to go out of their way to make things easier for Dracula made this movie difficult for me to watch.

My Grade: C-


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