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. The film stars Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, Straight Outta Compton) as Clemens, a doctor who joins the Demeter crew, Aisling Franciosi (Game of Thrones, The Nightingale) as an unwitting stowaway, Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans) as the ship’s captain and David Dastmalchian (Dune, the Ant-Man franchise) as the Demeter’s first mate. The film also features Jon Jon Briones (Ratched, American Horror Story), Stefan Kapicic (Deadpool films, Better Call Saul), Nikolai Nikolaeff (Stranger Things, Bruised) and Javier Botet (It films, Mama). From DreamWorks Pictures and the producers of Zodiac and Black Swan, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is directed by Norwegian horror virtuoso André Øvredal (Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, Trollhunter), from a script by Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room), Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) and Zak Olkewicz (the upcoming Bullet Train), based on the chapter “The Captain’s Log” of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter Trailer:
A major highlight for The Last Voyage of the Demeter is the acting. Corey Hawkins delivers a compelling performance as Clemens. For an American actor, his training and hard work to adopt an English accent paid off. I completely believed his delivery and character. He certainly carried the film and made for an intriguing protagonist that I’d want to learn more about. He demonstrated himself to be more than capable in both the dramatic and action scenes. The supporting characters were also really good too. I thought David Dastmalchian was so convincing as Wojchek, that I found myself not liking his character very much.
The setting for the movie created the perfect atmosphere for this dark story. I loved the confined dark corridors as a way to allow the viewer’s imagination to run wild with fear. Not to mention the fact that being stuck in the middle of the sea with a monster on board is a pretty terrifying situation. The atmosphere was the perfect setting for a villain of Dracula’s level because it emoted a sense of dread and isolation.
As for the villain himself, I thought the visual effects for Dracula were pretty nice. The design of the creature looked life-like enough that it did look more like a demon of sorts. The one thing I can’t get out of my mind is the terrifying set of teeth on the monster. Plus, the glowing eyes were a great touch to give the monster a creepier appearance.
There were a few minor flaws in The Last Voyage of the Demeter. The film occasionally became rather predictable. Whether it be the jump scares or certain characters’ fates, you could see a lot of it coming from a mile away. Despite the source material, there seemed to be a lot of room for injecting a touch of creativity could have elevated the storytelling and kept audiences on their toes a bit more.
One of the film’s central figures, Dracula himself, fell short of being truly terrifying. The visual effects portraying the creature were impressive, but some scare tactics became repetitive. As a result, it diminished their impact over the course of the movie. For example, Dracula could blend into shadows, but after seeing that same visual, it became less effective in evoking fear. This was where the film could’ve expanded a bit more range with the villain’s powers. What we saw was cool, but it felt like a lot of opportunities to really let Dracula run wild were left on the table.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter is a commendable addition to the extensive Dracula cinematic canon. Thanks to great acting by Corey Hawkins and the supporting cast, this film was entertaining to watch. This wasn’t the most hair-raising vampire movie out there, but it does tell a pretty interesting story. I don’t think this film will move the needle for more experienced horror fans, but if you’re a casual horror fan, then this could be right up your alley. I can’t attest to how closely this was to the book. However, I am completely on board with the idea of a potential sequel that could really expand the lore. With that said, feel free to check out The Last Voyage of the Demeter in theaters.
Director: André Øvredal
Writer(s): Bragi F. Schut, Stefan Ruzowitzky and Zak Olkewicz
Stars: Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian
The Last Voyage of the Demeter hits theaters August 11, 2023. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!
Review: Corey Hawkins Shines In The Last Voyage of the Demeter
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7.5/107.5/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 6.5/106.5/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10
- Watchability - 8/108/10
- Rewatchability - 7/107/10