SYNOPSIS: Based on a single chilling chapter from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the terrifying story of the merchant ship Demeter, which was chartered to carry private cargo—fifty unmarked wooden crates—from Carpathia to London. Strange events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship. When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. There is no trace of the crew. 


Based on a chapter from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of the cursed merchant ship which was supposed to deliver some unmarked wooden crates from Transylvania to London.

Saved for the prologue whereby a Cambridge graduated doctor named Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is being recruited on the ill-fated journey, the horror is set entirely on the large ship making it the ideal location for a claustrophobic, terrifying experience. The crew consists mainly of Captain Elliot (Liam Cunningham), his grandson Toby (Woody Norman) and his faithful dog, Quartermaster Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) and several others including a cook, a Russian and a gypsy.

Shortly after, the livestock on ship and Toby’s furkid are all found dead under mysterious circumstances. A young stowaway named Anna (Aisling Francis) escaped from one of the wooden crates and warned the crew of the creature that feeds on human blood sending the crew into a frenzy as more deaths happened as the nights go.

Kudos to director Andre Ovredal (Scary Stories to tell in the Dark), The Last Voyage of the Demeter is an old-school horror affair that relies on mood, cinematography to sell the impending terror than simplistic gore and blood-curdling screams. Indeed, there’s a few moments of intense kills and bloody neck munching from the creature known as Dracula but it never reaches the intense level of modern horror cinema.

The Dracula presented here is not some English gentleman dressed in tuxedo and cape. In fact, the monster is more of a flying bat than a man in most instances. He lurks in the darkness of the hull, he lures his victims and sucks out their blood and ruthlessly ends their lives under the scorching sun.

As for the cast, Hawkins shines as the man who believes in science and reason but nevertheless joins in the hunt when he is the last man standing. There’s also an interesting, thought-provoking detail in the movie that depicts his struggles as a Black man. Cunningham and Dastmalchian has a few worthy, impressive onscreen moments especially the former who has a heart-wrenching scene while Aisling Francis gets to kick some serious Dracula ass in the climax.

It’s a huge pity The Last Voyage of the Demeter didn’t turned up to be a hit. Perhaps it’s the slow-burn, the lack of bloody kills and the lack of jump scares that fails to pull in the audiences. Personally, this is one of the best executed, handsomely produced horror flick based on a classic horror character (not from an ongoing horror franchise) we have seen in years.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Horror/Thriller
Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian, Jon Jon Briones, Stefan Kapicic, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Woody Norman, Javier Botet
Director: André Øvredal
Year Made: 2023



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 59 mins