The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The crew of the titular 19th century London-bound merchant ship discovers that they are carrying a very dangerous cargo. No one seemed to notice when it was loaded in Carpathia that it was coffin-shaped, seemed to be full of dirt, and inexplicably drove all the animals in the area into a frenzy.

Regular readers know that I don’t dislike horror movies per se, only those that depend on gore, violence and jump scares, and this is a prime example.

Its pedigree is good, adapted as it was from a single chapter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (though this would seem a spoiler re the monster’s successful arrival in London), and the cast, which includes Corey Hawkins and Liam Cunningham, does its best with what it’s given to work with. Director Andre Ovredal, maker of a dozen or so horror B-movies that I’ve never heard of, provides suitably heavy atmosphere.

But it’s uneven, overlong, and fails to get inside your head, where the best horror flicks do their work. It’s glacially paced, surprise-free and lacks the merest trace of dark wit. The ending almost embarrassingly hints at a sequel. Unlikely. Good perhaps for BGV at your upcoming Halloween party. (118 min)

Out in theatres now.