The Pissed Take - The Last Voyage of the Demeter
THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER -or- ROGUE ONE: THE DRACULA EDITION *AKA* Almost but not quite. This flick sacrifices sense for more teeth.
Release Date 11Aug2023
This movie is OK.
The last voyage of the Demeter is a 2023 horror film based on the "Log of the Demeter" section in chapter 7 of BRAM STOKER's "DRACULA", published May 26 of 1897. The Dracula story has been told through various mediums, with various levels of success, for 126 years.
Like "Rogue One", Demeter tries to stretch a thin premise too far over it's runtime.
NO SPOILERS (Read a MF'n book!)
A schooner called the Demeter, moored at port in Varna, Bulgaria crews up for a cargo run from Varna to Whitby - a seaside town in North Yorkshire, England. Their mysterious and rich client wants his 50 boxes taken with haste to England, with a big bonus to the crew if they get there ahead of schedule. They set sail, then two weeks into their journey into the Mediterranean... YEP, F#uckery ensues.
The movie is pretty, but (as is happens with these movies) you never get a sense of these characters enough to care when the requisite f#CKERY happens. A real shame too, as there is obvious potential in this capably acted movie - that none the less suffers from narrative expediency and more than a little laziness elsewhere.
Par for the course, these days. If you don't ask for better, you won't get it.
The presentation of the movie is gorgeous, with suitable atmosphere for the story it's trying to tell - clearly inspired by Ridley Scott's 1979 film ALIEN. The performances by everyone on screen are far better than the screenplay gives them space for, COREY HAWKINS in particular in a lead role that doesn't do him any favors. The VFX and sound design have a clarity that asks for a big screen experience, but the end result doesn't justify it, unfortunately. There are some narrative choices that shine a light on promising developments that come together, and the monstrous DRACULA of this film is definitely an improvement over more sympathetic (and flacid) portrayals of the count.
The potential of this film is spoiled by a less than exciting script, and weak characterization - you don't give a tart's taint about anyone in this movie. There is little time getting to know them to even really care. Also, anyone remember when movie score weren't unmemorable explosions of pointless sonic diarrhea!? Hmm... The count is failed in the same way most of the book fails him - he's a threat in the background (something the HAMILTON DEAN and JOHN L. BALDERSTON stage plays corrected by having him more directly interact with the main characters). The addition of American actor Corey Hawkins as former Cambridge medical student and astronomer CLEMENS is curious not only because of the original text, but also for the experiences of real black UK attendees of Cambridge like the very real ALEXANDER CRUMMELL, the first black student at Cambridge for whom records are extant. Finally, some great narrative choices don't pay off, especially an ending that had my eyes rolling.
SEE IT: STREAM HO!!! Though, if you have time for a matinee, it's at least worth that.
DON'T SEE IT: If you expect better for your theater going dollar, you're on your second or better run-through of the "BARBENHEIMER" EXPERIENCE, or DAT DER CRAWFISH DONE GOT YOU THE SQUIRTS!