The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Of all the characters in the world of fiction, none has been adapted more to the world of film than Dracula. The vampire subgenre in horror has always been popular, but movie makers keep bringing Bram Stoker’s creation to the big screen again and again, often in new and creative directions. Earlier this year “Renfield” was released, but it was a great disappointment. “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” is the latest go round for the immortal blood sucker that had a lot of potential going in but fails to live up to it in the end.

For those who may not know, the Demeter is the ship that brought Count Dracula from Romania to London. In the original novel, it was only given one chapter told through the captain’s log which refers to members of his crew going missing and how a stranger being spotted on the boat. In past films we usually just see the arrivals of the ship with no crew except for the captain being tied to the steering wheel. “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” now gives the details of what happened on that fateful voyage.

It’s surprising no one thought of this idea earlier. Screenwriters Bragi F. Schut and Zak Olkewicz, both of whom have fantastic past horror writing credits, has woven together a real solid story, with well written characters and plenty of scares to go along with it… on paper. Sadly, Norwegian director André Øvredal fails to deliver an equally good from paper to screen translation.

This is very shocking. It’s not like this is his directorial debut. In fact, he has quite a few solid films to his credit that includes “Troll Hunter” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”. The latter was a frightening PG-13 affair, not an easy feat to achieve in the horror genre. However, he fails to build any tension, despite the good script he could not create an emotional connection to ANY of the characters, so when they die, we don’t care! Even simple jump scares fall flat.

“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” had so much going for it. The score was very good. Great production design. A real strong cast too; it has all the makings of a great Dracula tale. Instead, all we get is a unscary, uninteresting vampire on a boat movie. So disappointing.

1.5 Swords