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  • How <i>The Last Voyage of the Demeter</i> Revamps a Chilling Chapter From <i>Dracula</i>

How  The Last Voyage of the Demeter  Revamps a Chilling Chapter From  Dracula

Liam Cunningham as Captain Eliot, Chris Walley as Abrams, and Corey Hawkins as Clemens in 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last Voyage of the Demeter .

The seventh chapter of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula , titled "The Captain's Log," chronicles the fate of the crew of the doomed merchant ship the Demeter through a series of logbook entries detailing the vessel's disastrous voyage from the Black Sea port of Varna to Whitby, England.

Unaware that Dracula is onboard, the captain writes how, over the course of their journey, crew members went missing until just he and the first mate were left on the Demeter. After the first mate caught sight of "a man, tall and thin, and ghastly pale," he jumped overboard rather than die by the vampire's hand. Eventually, the captain lashed himself to the wheel with a crucifix in hand to try to bring the ship into port.

"I shall tie my hands to the wheel when my strength begins to fail, and along with them I shall tie that which He, It, dare not touch," reads the captain's final log entry, which is found rolled up inside a corked bottle in his pocket after the Demeter arrives in Whitby with no one alive onboard. "And then, come good wind or foul, I shall save my soul, and my honour as a captain. I am growing weaker, and the night is coming on. If He can look me in the face again, I may not have time to act."

The Last Voyage of the Demeter , in theaters Aug. 11, takes this chilling interlude in the original story and turns it into a full-length fright flick. "I wanted to make a genuine horror movie about this little part of the novel," says director André Øvredal ( The Autopsy of Jane Doe , Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark ). "I found that to be a great challenge and a great way of doing something that could be part of [ Dracula 's] huge, wonderful legacy, but wouldn't risk standing next to giant movies [that have come before]. It's its own thing."

The long journey of The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Øvredal signed on to helm Demeter from a screenplay by Bragi Schut Jr. and Zak Olkewicz in October 2019, nearly two decades after Phoenix Pictures acquired Schut Jr.'s original script in 2003. Prior to Øvredal's involvement, a variety of directors, from Robert Schwentke to Neil Marshall to David Slade, had been attached to the project at different points in time.

The single chapter is such a captivating one that Demeter producers Mike Medavoy and Bradley J. Fischer say they were determined to get a movie adaptation made no matter how long it took.

" Dracula is obviously a very iconic and well-tread piece of IP that's been in the public domain forever. But this particular story was one that hadn't really been dramatized. It's been used as connective tissue in other Dracula adaptations," says Fischer, referencing scenes in 1922's Nosferatu and 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula . "But no one had told the story of what happens on this ship across the body of a single film."

David Dastmalchian as Wojchek, Chris Walley as Abrams, and Corey Hawkins as Clemens in 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

Demeter traps its characters in a contained, isolated setting at the mercy of an elusive monster, a narrative arc that Medavoy says brought to mind one iconic horror movie in particular.

"It reminded me of Alien with Dracula in it. Dracula is the alien on the ship," he says. "That's what drew me to the story."

Dracula at sea

Demeter stars Liam Cunningham as Captain Eliot, David Dastmalchian as first mate Wojchek, and Jon Jon Briones, Martin Furulund, Stefan Kapicic, Nikolai Nikolaeff, and Chris Walley as the ship's crew. It also introduces some additional main players who don't feature in the book: Captain Eliot's grandson Toby (Woody Norman), Dr. Clemens (Corey Hawkins), and a stowaway named Anna (Aisling Franciosi) who is smuggled onboard by Dracula as a food source.

The role of Dracula (or Nosferatu) belongs to veteran creature actor Javier Botet, who has terrified audiences for years playing monsters in movies like 2013's Mama , 2016's The Conjuring 2 , 2017's IT , and 2018's Slender Man . "[Botet] breaches that careful relationship between human character and monster," Øvredal says. "He can find intelligence just through body language in how a creature is portrayed on screen."

Javier Botet as Dracula in 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

That's a quality Øvredal needed in his Dracula, as Demeter paints the vampire as a vicious, bloodthirsty beast rather than the sophisticated, seductive count he often appears as.

"Depicting Dracula as a monstrous, more freaky character was very alluring," Øvredal says. "I wanted to lean into the fact that he's lived for 400 years. I didn't want to see a beautiful Hollywood actor being charming and suave.

"We also removed the sexuality that Dracula is often depicted with because it's essentially just a survival tale for everyone, including him," he adds. "I wanted to see that he has survived and survived and that he will survive this journey as well because, as we know, the story of Dracula continues on."

How The Last Voyage of the Demeter ends

In Stoker's Dracula , the Demeter arrives in England amid a great storm. Witnesses see a large dog disembark from the ship and find only the corpse of the captain still on board.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter offers an inside look at all the horrors that play out on the ship throughout its final journey.

Corey Hawkins as Clemens and Aisling Franciosi as Anna in 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

"One of the great thematic elements of the story that is profound in its horror is the way that Dracula takes from each character the thing that person loves the most, including turning the ship itself into a living nightmare of the sea," Fischer says. "It's not enough that it's sustaining itself off of the blood of these people. It wants them to suffer in a way and enjoys it."

However, unlike in the book, the movie ends with one person who was onboard the Demeter, Clemens, surviving the passage and making his way to London with the intent of hunting Dracula down. When asked whether this twist opens the door for a sequel, Øvredal says it would be "quite a revisionist take" on what happens in the book from that point on.

"We try to stay reasonably true to the novel in this depiction," he says. "This movie is really about honoring the novel. But if you go further with Clemens' character, he obviously doesn't exist in the book."

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The Last Voyage Of The Demeter Ending Explained: That Sinking Feeling

Last Voyage of the Demeter vampire

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being reviewed here wouldn't exist. This article also contains spoilers for "The Last Voyage of the Demeter."

When Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley published her novel "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus" in 1818, she kicked off genre fiction as we still know it to this day. She also captured the zeitgeist of that time period in regard to humanity's scientific study and technical progress, observing a relationship between the known and unknown where infinite possibilities lay, possibilities that carry with them a mixed sensation of wonder and fear.

79 years later, Bram Stoker captured a bit of that same vibe again, with his horror novel "Dracula." Taking a collection of various myths and folklore that had persevered through the ages and combining them with the deeds (embellished or not) of infamous historical figures like Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Bathory, Stoker created the most well-known example of the fictional vampire. Like "Frankenstein," "Dracula" is seemingly an eternally malleable creation; not only have there been numerous works of art inspired by the character and the book, but there are also nearly as many direct adaptations of the character and Stoker's novel, each with their own unique tones, themes, allegories and so on.

One of the core themes seen in most adaptations of "Dracula" is the way the titular vampire is able to achieve his goals thanks to exploiting human weaknesses: the superstitious are too fearful and easily dismissed by the "civilized" intellectuals, themselves easily manipulated into believing vampires aren't real. In adapting a single chapter of "Dracula," "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" ( read our review here ) captures this conflict in miniature, using the pressure-cooker single location of the doomed vessel to make its characters confront the reality of Dracula, recognizing him as a threat only too late.

Like any good horror film, "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" presents its characters with numerous warnings and omens that go foolishly unheeded. The movie even goes one further than that, presenting the audience with ill tidings by opening on August 6, 1897, when the destroyed and deserted ship Demeter is found crashed on the shore near the seaside town of Whitby, England. As the shaken men who discover the ship and the captain's logbook come to realize, there are no survivors.

Flashing back to July 6, 1897, we're introduced to Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) and his first mate, Wojchek (David Dastmalchian), as they attempt to crew up the Demeter for what Eliot intends to be his final journey. Clemens (Corey Hawkins), a doctor in desperate need of work, is itinerant, his status as an educated Black man meaning that bigots refuse his services. Wojchek refuses him for the ship's duty, dismissing him as simultaneously over- and under-qualified. Yet one of the men the first mate chooses instead almost kills Eliot's young son, the cabin boy Toby (Woody Norman), when he drops a large wooden crate after seeing a symbol of a dragon stamped on it.

Eliot and Wojchek dismiss the image as hysterical superstition and hire Clemens to replace the frightened man. They make no connection between the man's reaction to the symbol (which appears to be the mark of the Order of the Dragon ), nor the way the Transylvanian villagers refuse to load the crates marked with that symbol onboard the Demeter, paying Wojchek a large sum of money ("More than I paid for them to bring it here," the first mate remarks) for the ship's men instead. The Demeter sets sail with the crates intact, blissfully unaware of what the cargo really holds.

That all changes one night during the voyage when Clemens discovers that some of the crates in the cargo hold have been displaced and tampered with. In a pile of dirt, he finds the body of Anna (Aisling Franciosi), a young woman at death's door due to, as Clemens diagnoses it, a blood disease. At the same time, the crew begins finding strange happenings about the ship, most alarmingly the graphic deaths of their livestock and the ship's dog, Huck. Captain Eliot puts forth a theory that these animals are victims of a viral malady passed by bite wounds, an idea that Clemens can't easily swallow. As the doctor reveals during a meal, his major interest in life lies in making sense of the unknown, a quality that doesn't allow him to readily accept such easy explanations.

The male crew members have a different explanation for the occurrences: the presence of Anna on board as a stowaway and a woman brings superstitious bad luck on both counts. As Clemens continues to administer blood transfusions to Anna, nursing her back to health, the woman eventually regains consciousness and explains that her being on board is indeed bad luck, but not in the way the crew thinks.

She reveals that the vampire known as Dracula (Javier Botet) has been smuggled onto the ship in one of those crates filled with soil, and his ultimate destination is Carfax Abbey, in London. The reason for his voyage is that he must go someplace where his potential victims do not know of him or the danger he poses; Anna's villagers not only know how to avoid him, they know how to appease him, having chosen Anna and others like her as live sacrifices, thereby turning them into living blood bags.

Toby or not Toby

Even when faced with the uncomfortable reality of Dracula being on their boat, the crew of the Demeter attempt to treat the problem as they would if any wild animal had gotten on board. What they fail to realize, of course, is that Dracula is neither man nor beast, a being who isn't just following his nature but also his desire. He is, in no uncertain terms, Evil with a capital "E."

The men of the Demeter learn this lesson the hard way, especially when the sailor Olgaren (Stefan Kapičić) is attacked by Drac during the vamp's nightly hunt, but doesn't die right away. Clemens discovers that transfusing Olgaren won't work, and the man reawakens the following night, immediately attacking Toby. When the rest of the crew rush to Toby's aid, subduing Olgaren, they fail to realize that Dracula has found his way to the boy instead, feeding on the youth while the men watch helplessly.

The crew is further traumatized when Olgaren, tied to the ship's mast, is incinerated by the rising of the sun and burned to a crisp. Clemens, finally beginning to come around to believing Anna's story, insists that Toby cannot be saved, arranging for a burial at sea. A distraught Eliot refuses to let his men toss Toby overboard, and the boy, now a vampire, attacks the captain in broad daylight, making his demise a scarring event in more ways than one. By this point, it's apparent that director Andre Øvredal is not going to pull any punches with this story, certainly not for matters of taste or morality.

Facing the unknown

The systematic attacks by Dracula as well as the step-by-step discovery of his abilities serve several purposes: for one thing, it gives the film a slasher-like structure where Dracula dispatches one victim at a time in various grisly ways (a quality that emulates Ridley Scott's "Alien"). For another, it slowly leads Clemens and his compatriots down a path of understanding and, eventually, acceptance that such a thing as a vampire is real. There's also a third reason, perhaps the most insidious of all: as Anna points out, Dracula isn't merely toying with the humans — he's rationing them.

Armed with the knowledge that Dracula intends to wipe out every last person on the Demeter and that his arrival in London means the certain deaths of countless other victims, Clemens rallies the remaining survivors to attempt to ambush Dracula as well as ensure the Demeter does not reach port by sinking it. Wojchek, who was to be made Captain by Eliot after this voyage, refuses that last point at first. Yet Clemens, who by now has begun to accept the potential truth within superstition and the supernatural, reminds him that a ship survives not within the literal wood it's made from, but within the people who were part of it.

Clemens, Anna, and the other survivors do their best, but Dracula proves to be a formidable foe. Clemens even attempts to diminish some of Dracula's power, declaring that although he admits he does not understand how the vampire exists, he does not fear him, to which Dracula chillingly replies: "You will." Fortunately, Anna and Clemens are able to distract Dracula long enough to pin him to the ship's mast while they flee into the ocean, and the Demeter reaches its final destination as it crashes ashore.

One last sunrise

Of course, Dracula is not so easily defeated: as soon as the Demeter stops moving, the vampire is able to triumphantly free himself from the ship (in a moment that recalls one of the film's other inspirations, F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" ). Meanwhile, Clemens and Anna are left floating on some stray pieces of wood a mile or so offshore, and Clemens makes the tragic discovery that Anna has indeed been infected with vampirism.

That doesn't mean the woman has lost her humanity, however: in her final act of defiance, Anna refuses to succumb to Dracula's influence over her, rejecting her thirst for blood and instead choosing to meet the sunrise one last time. As Anna burns, the moment seems to recall the tragedy of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," itself a movie that functions in a similar fashion to "Demeter," telling a story that fills in a previously blank bit of lore.

Vampire hunter D (for Doctor)

The final moments of "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" are the most surprising: Øvredal, along with writers Bragi F. Schut and Zak Olkewicz, excitingly break the rules the film seemed to establish. To wit: the Demeter is not canonically supposed to have any survivors (save Dracula, of course), and yet Clemens still lives after his ordeal.

In much the same way culture was never the same after the publications of "Frankenstein" and "Dracula," Clemens is a changed man, a scholar and intellectual who nonetheless concedes the existence (or at least potential existence) of the supernatural. In honoring his fallen shipmates and the woman who refused to be given to the creature, he's now made it his mission to hunt Dracula down in London.

Earlier in the film, Anna explains how Dracula can take the shape of a man, and most adaptations of "Dracula" take this literally, having him appear as human as anyone. In a nod to both "Nosferatu" as well as Tobe Hooper's adaptation of Stephen King's "Salem's Lot," this Dracula does not make himself look human so much as camouflage himself in order to blend in with humans, making him a bit like the mutated cockroaches in Guillermo Del Toro's "Mimic." It's a perfect encapsulation of the film's take on Dracula and vampires in general, allowing the relationship between the supernatural and the natural to be uncomfortably close, and not going so far as to take magical shortcuts.

Dracula remixed?

While "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" is a pleasingly nasty, single-minded horror film, it leaves a lot of room for the future should the movie be successful. In other words, this is not like "Rogue One" insofar as it's meant to fit seamlessly into the canon of another adaptation of "Dracula" — instead, it's its own adaptation of Stoker's novel, just exclusively focusing on the one chapter that is often neglected or glossed over.

With that in place, there's the explicit possibility that a sequel could continue the "Dracula" story with this new character of Clemens continuing on, causing further ripple effects in the adaptation. Would this last survivor of the Demeter effectively replace vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, or join him on his quest? If this film is the "Alien" of "Dracula" adaptations, might Clemens next find himself in an "Aliens" situation, forced to face his nemesis in increased numbers for a second round? What is that stylish cane that Dracula sports, the one with a silver wolf's head — isn't it remarkably similar to the one owned by Sir John Talbot in 1941's "The Wolf Man?" Is Universal attempting to restart their "Dark Universe" of Monsters?

Whatever happens, it's clear that "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" is as good an example as any that the "Dracula" novel is one of the most enduring and endlessly fascinating stories ever written, one that isn't — and needn't be — told the same way twice.

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‘The Last Voyage Of The Demeter’ Review: An Atmospheric Voyage Short Of Horrifying Surprises

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter movie

In the saturated cinematic world of bloodsuckers, it’s important to carve a niche to help the film stand out from its predecessors. For André Øvredal’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter , the visual palette drenched in melancholic grays and blues are effective in creating atmosphere, but the film falls prey to predictability.

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The Last Voyage begins in Whitby, England 1897, where the Demeter is shipwrecked, and desolate. The local police discover and try to investigate but are too spooked to continue. The film then backtracks to four weeks earlier in Romania. The Demeter is docked and looking for crew to help take cargo to London. Clemens (Hawkins), a Cambridge-educated man looking to return to England, saves Captain Eliot’s (Cunningham) grandson Toby (Norman) from getting crushed by a large crate. Clemens is then invited on board to work. There are several boxes of cargo, all labeled with ominous dragon crest symbols that weirds out the local Romanians who can’t wait for the ship to leave their shores. 

On the Demeter, things run smoothly at first but are shaken up by the arrival of Anna (Franciosi), a stowaway within the cargo. She’s on the verge of dying and is administered a blood transfusion to save her life. While the woman is unconscious, things fall a part as the animals on board are killed via blood drainage. This is when the crew turns on each other, blaming one another for the incident, and one isolated member is confronted by Dracula himself. As they discover what they are dealing with, and their chances of survival shrink with each passing moment, they must decide whether to abandoned ship or stop the creature before it gets to its destination.

The film doesn’t just borrow atmospheric notes from iconic predecessors. The creature design takes a page out of the Nosferatu look-book and fares better when rendered in practical effects with Dracula actor Javier Botet. However, some sequences are ruined by obvious VFX that squander the moments of terror by making the audience aware of the artificiality on screen.

It is the cast that truly prevents the film from sinking into cinematic oblivion. Hawkins delivers a memorable performance as Clemons, anchoring the narrative and providing a much-needed pulse to the story. Anna showcases smarts, proving that the characters could have been more than just lambs for the slaughter if given a stronger script. 

In essence, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is an atmospheric journey that promises much but delivers little. There are moments of brilliance, especially in its practical character design and the occasional spine-chilling scene, but it feels longer than it actually is. In the ongoing quest of Universal to discover that perfect concoction of horror, intrigue and storytelling, it seems the hunt continues.

Title: The Last Voyage of the Demeter Distributor: Universal Release date: Friday, August 11 Director: André Øvredal Screenwriters: Bragi Schut Jr, Zak Olkewicz Cast: Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, Woody Norman, David Dastmalchian, Jon Jon Briones, Stefan Kapicic, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Javier Botet Rating: R Running time: 1 hr 58 min

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Where to watch.

Watch The Last Voyage of the Demeter with a subscription on Paramount+, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

What to Know

The Last Voyage of the Demeter finds a fresh angle on Dracula's oft-told tale, although lackluster execution often undercuts the story's claustrophobic tension.

A solidly scary Dracula movie, The Last Voyage of the Demeter will reward patient viewers with some intense scenes and plenty of eerie atmosphere.

Audience Reviews

Cast & crew.

André Øvredal

Corey Hawkins

Aisling Franciosi

Liam Cunningham

David Dastmalchian

Jon Jon Briones

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More like this, movie news & guides, this movie is featured in the following articles., critics reviews.

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter’s ending, explained

Blair Marnell

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula , a single chapter, The Captain’s Log , is devoted to chronicling the story of the Demeter, the doomed ship that was duped into bringing Dracula to England. Screenwriters Bragi Schut Jr. and Zak Olkewicz expanded on that chapter and turned it into a standalone feature film, The Last Voyage of the Demeter , which was directed by André Øvredal.

How does The Last Voyage of the Demeter end?

What comes next for dracula.

In this film, Dracula (Javier Botet) is about as far from a romantic figure as you can get, and there will be no kissing for this Lord of the Vampires. At no point in the movie does Dracula even remotely resemble a normal human being. Instead, he is evil incarnate who feeds on the crew and their livestock without any regard for them. Dracula might have remained undiscovered if Anna (Aisling Franciosi) had not been found by Clemens (Corey Hawkins), the new doctor on the Demeter. Because Dracula had been using Anna as his unwilling source of blood, he quickly finds new sources of nourishment.

Hawkins previously starred in The Walking Dead , while Franciosi had a small but pivotal role on Game of Thrones as Ned Stark’s late sister and Jon Snow’s mother, Lyanna Stark. Another Game of Thrones veteran, Liam Cunningham, plays Captain Elliot, while The Suicide Squad ‘s David Dastmalchian portrays Elliot’s first mate, Wojchek. The rest of the cast includes Woody Norman as Toby, Jon Jon Briones as Joseph, Stefan Kapičić as Olgaren, Nikolai Nikolaeff as Petrofsky, Martin Furulund as Larsen, Chris Walley as Abrams, and Nicolo Pasetti as Deputy Hirsch.

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Now, we’ll tell you about the ending of The Last Voyage of the Demeter and what it means for the events that take place after the movie.

Warning: the rest of this post contains spoilers for The Last Voyage of the Demeter .

The ending of this movie was never in doubt. After all, it is called The Last Voyage of the Demeter , and the opening moments of the film show the wreck of the ship and the alarmed reactions of the authorities before flashing back to four weeks earlier. Judging from the way the crew treated the Demeter, it was a fine ship before Dracula came along. But his presence ensured that the Demeter’s voyage to England was a one-way trip.

By the time the remaining crew of the Demeter realizes that Dracula must be stopped at all costs, there are far too few of them left. Clemens and Anna come up with the idea of using Anna as bait and trapping Dracula on the Demeter before they sink the vessel to the bottom of the sea. What they didn’t know is that Dracula has wings, and their plan may have been doomed from the start. Captain Elliot and Wojchek, give their lives in the effort, but Dracula is only briefly trapped before the Demeter runs aground in England.

Both Clemens and Anna manage to survive by jumping off of the ship and holding on to a piece of wreckage as it approaches the shore. Unfortunately, Anna reveals that while Clemens’ blood transfusions saved her life, they only prolonged her transformation into a vampire. Rather than allow herself to become like Dracula, Anna shares a farewell with Clemens and allows the morning sunlight to burn her to death.

With Dracula unleashed in England, the events of Stoker’s novel begin to unfold again …with one key difference. Clemens has also made it to shore, and he has made it his mission to destroy Dracula. Because of his earlier investigation into Dracula’s resting place, Clemens knows where Dracula intends to sleep during his stay in England. And at dawn, Clemens intends to put an end to Dracula’s evil once and for all.

If only it were that simple. In the film’s closing moments, Clemens is alarmed to see that Dracula is not only aware of his survival, the vampire toys with him in a crowded bar before escaping into the night. Regardless, Clemens is not deterred from his quest for revenge. And while Clemens does not encounter any of Dracula’s enemies from the novel, like Jonathan Harker or Abraham Van Helsing, it’s entirely possible that Clemens’ presence could change the events of Stoker’s story if a sequel materializes.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is now playing in theaters.

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Blair Marnell

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The Ending Of The Last Voyage Of The Demeter Explained

Dracula looking up

André Øvredal — the director of "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" and "Trollhunter" — returns with a new vision for Dracula in "The Last Voyage of the Demeter."  Based on the chapter titled "The Captain's Log" in Bram Stoker's "Dracula," the film follows the crew of the Demeter ship as they transport cargo to England in 1897. While the early parts of their voyage are smooth sailing, the crew begins to realize that with each passing night, their numbers grow smaller. It turns out that a bloodthirsty creature has been brought aboard and is hunting them down, so the crew must band together and come up with a plan to kill the beast before they reach the mainland. 

After some more comical and charming recent depictions of Dracula , "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" reminds viewers why he's one of the scariest movie monsters. Øvredal brings a chilling Dracula to the big screen in what becomes a harrowing story of survival. Every time night falls, audiences are left in fear of what horrors will come and wondering who will bite the dust the next. Throughout all the scares and sudden turns, there are also some strong and surprisingly emotional story threads with these characters that lead to a gripping and jaw-dropping finale. Let's delve into the ending of "The Last Voyage of the Demeter."

What you need to remember about the plot

Before unpacking the film's tense finale, there are some important elements that influence the fates of the characters and their final bout with Dracula (Javier Botet). When the monster emerges each night, he targets one crew member, draining their blood so that he can regain his power and strength. As he picks off the crew one by one, Dracula goes from being a frail corpse crawling out of the shadows to a fearsome beast with devastating power. Not only can Dracula turn the crew members into his mindless minions just by biting them, but once he has consumed enough blood, he can grow wings and can fly. 

By the time the crew comes to terms with the reality that they're being hunted by a monster, there's only a handful of them left and they've been mentally and physically worn down. They've witnessed most of their companions be slaughtered or turned against them by Dracula, and Captain Elliot (Liam Cunningham) has even lost his grandson Toby (Woody Norman) to the beast. However, crew member Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is able to rally those who remain to form a new plan that'll kill Dracula and keep him from reaching the mainland. But their plan to leave Dracula stuck on the sinking Demeter doesn't go as planned and leads to unimaginable bloodshed.

What happened at the end of the movie

Although Clemens' plan to use Anna (Aisling Franciosi) — a woman who was stored with Dracula as his personal feeding source — as bait to lure the creature out makes sense when he explains it, Dracula also quickly catches on to what they're up to. Dracula not only kills most of the remaining crew — leaving only Clemens and Anna alive – but he causes so much chaos and destruction on the ship that it is now barreling towards the mainland. Eventually, Dracula has Clemens in his claws and is on the verge of killing him until Anna steps in and frees him. This also causes one of the masts to fall apart and pin Dracula into the middle of the ship. Unfortunately, the monster is able to break free before the ship crashes into the mainland and flies away while Clemens and Anna float on debris just off-shore. 

While Clemens is hopeful that the two of them can make it to safety, Anna's eyes turning pale signifies that she's succumbed to Dracula's bite and will burst into flames when the sun rises. Even though Clemens performed a blood transfusion on her, it only delayed the inevitable. Clemens is crushed by this realization, but Anna has accepted her fate and thanks Clemens for helping her fight back against Dracula. Without fear, she sits atop some debris and floats away from Clemens, burning to death slowly when the sun hits her skin. 

What happens between Clemens and Dracula

Although the newspaper headlines seen in the final moments state that there were no survivors aboard the Demeter, we come to learn that there are actually two: Clemens and Dracula. Clemens has made it to shore and is now the only surviving crew member of the ship. While in England, Clemens searches for Dracula — who he believes is still out there somewhere — and he is given some direction on where the creature could be. Clemens has now made it his life's goal to hunt and kill Dracula so that the world can be rid of this monster. But he is unaware that he's closer than he thinks to his vampiric enemy. 

Clemens hears the knocking code used on the ship and feels that it's coming from Dracula himself as a form of taunting. Suddenly, Dracula is shown hiding his horrid face under some clothes and holding the cane that Clemens found in his coffin on the ship. Dracula passes by Clemens causing him to leave his chair and follow him onto the streets. Now, neither Dracula nor Clemens is afraid to make their presence known to each other and their newfound rivalry begins.

What does the end of the movie mean

When the crew talks about what they plan to spend the money earned from the trip on, Clemens delivers a vastly different answer. Instead of wanting to spend it on a new place to live or pleasurable spoils, he says he doesn't care for the money much and hopes to gain a better understanding of the world from his travels. Although he's scoffed at by most of the crew, there's a deeper, more personal reason behind this that plays into Clemens' pursuit of Dracula at the end. When further explaining his experience in life as a Black man, Clemens talks about how he's been looked over simply because of the color of his skin. Despite his getting a great education and being a highly-skilled doctor, he was often turned away or outright rejected for being Black, causing him to become disillusioned by people and the world. 

This explains why Clemens is so obsessed with exploring and trying to gain a better understanding of the world. This mindset also influences his intrigue with Dracula — a being that goes against his more logical thinking and scientific views. Now that Clemens knows that this monstrous entity exists in the world, he wishes to understand its motives and origins so that he can defeat it — which possibly influences his desires to be accepted and acknowledged for his actions rather than rejected for who he is. 

Another explanation

The ending of "The Last Voyage of Demeter" also establishes a pretty grim reality for the world, and Dracula's appearance is a bad omen for humanity. Not only is Dracula free and living amongst the humans, but so far no one knows how to kill him. Even though Clemens survived his fight against Dracula on the Demeter, he isn't aware of how to defeat the vampire since Anna didn't have the answer and none of the weapons they used did anything. Further, if something as monstrous as Dracula exists, who knows what other horrors and evil creatures could exist in this world too? Evil is walking around freely and this could have damning consequences. 

However, there are people like Clemens who are willing to put everything on the line to stop evil entities like Dracula. Clemens is portrayed as the Van Helsing surrogate in this story, and he pledges his life to find and kill Dracula no matter what it takes. Even when Clemens is near death fighting Dracula, he shows that he isn't afraid of him, and his further pursuit of him is meant to act as a reminder of how evil can and should be fought against. While there are powerful entities out there that represent the same kind of evil that Dracula does, there's always a way to fight back, and this is something we see at the end of the film.

What has André Øvredal said about the film and future sequels

André Øvredal is one of the most notable rising forces in the horror genre over the last few years with films like "Trollhunter," "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," and "The Autopsy of Jane Doe." Now with "The Last Voyage of the Demeter," he's delivered his own horrifying take on Dracula that shows a lot of potential to be something more. Speaking to Bloody Disgusting , Øvredal praised Javier Botet's performance as Dracula and said he was "curious to see how the audiences are feeling about the portrayal of Dracula, which I'm very proud of."

While Øvredal is happy with how the film has come together, the question remains whether he would have the time to continue working in this world if the opportunity comes to a sequel. It was announced that he's no longer set to direct the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's "The Long Walk" and the only project he's currently listed to direct is a sequel to "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." A lot hinges on the success of "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" but Øvredal clearly isn't opposed to the idea of a sequel, so we'll just have to watch this space to see if further vampire projects come about.

What the end could mean for the franchise

Perhaps the biggest question posed by the end of the film is whether we could see more of this world. Given how this film concludes, there's certainly room for a sequel or even a prequel to be made. With Clemens now on a life-long mission to kill Dracula, a sequel could see these two at each other's throats again. Clemens could be seen trying to help another community that's being terrorized by Dracula or searching for answers on how to kill this demonic entity. We could also possibly get a prequel that fleshes out Dracula's backstory and mythos more and could even be led by Anna since her village was controlled by Dracula for a long time. Given that the film is set in the world of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," other installments could be created to adapt other parts of the novel and further flesh out this world.

What could keep the film's franchise potential from happening

While the film has clear goals for its future, there are things that could keep it from reaching them. The first obstacle the film needs to overcome is its opening weekend at the box office. It releases at a time when both "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" still have a hold over the box office, and there's plenty of competition from the summer blockbusters. The current projections for "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" range from about $6 to $11 million — which wouldn't put it in striking distance of either film based on what they're projected to earn. The film will desperately need some good word of mouth and strong legs to have a good box office run. 

The next factor in "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" being a success is if moviegoers like it. Critics, so far, haven't been too fond of the film, but the audience is often the driving force behind a film's success. The last hurdle for "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" is the competition from other vampire films — including another from Universal themselves. "Eternals" director Chloé Zhao has a "Dracula" film on the way for Universal and Pablo Larraín's vampire film "El Conde" is coming to Netflix in September. So, there's a lot of competition that could steal the film's thunder and keep it from its future ambitions.

What does the ending mean for Universal's desires to reboot their classic monsters

It's no secret that Universal has been doing everything it can to bring its classic monsters back into the limelight for years. After the Dark Universe joined the other failed cinematic universes , Universal faced an uphill struggle. However, through films like "The Invisible Man" and "Renfield," they've seen that there are ways to bring their monsters back without the need for a connected cinematic universe. "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" isn't outwardly expressed as Universal's attempt to bring one of their classic monsters back to life, but it could easily be seen as a way for Dracula's cinematic legacy to continue.

Since "Renfield" fell flat at the box office , the door is wide open for another "Dracula" story to become Universal's next big horror franchise focused on the character. With the closing moments of "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" seeing Clemens begin his pursuit of Dracula, the story could easily continue, either in a sequel or possible future crossovers should Universal reignite their monster universe.

Why the ending gives viewers a different kind of Dracula

While recent depictions of Dracula have highlighted some of his more charming characteristics, or put a comedic spin on his presence, "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" takes the character back to his horror roots. Instead of being seen as this unsuspecting charmer with a hypnotizing power, Dracula is shown here to be more of an escaped demon from hell. His teeth are disfigured and sharpened to quickly draw blood from his victims and he has a pale, emaciated look that will instantly give you chills. By the time Dracula reaches his final form at the end of the film — with his wings and bat-like ears — he looks even more demonic. 

However, what's most interesting about this portrayal of Dracula is that he doesn't change his look when trying to hide among humans. When he is shown in the final moments of the film, he's just wearing clothes that slightly obscure his face to help him blend in. This is interesting since it was established earlier that he controlled Anna's village for years despite clearly standing out. This suggests that instead of using charm and suave looks to control those around him, this Dracula relies more on fear, intimidation, and force to control others — something that is incredibly different from other Draculas we've seen before.

What new mythos comes from the ending

Along with a new physical depiction of Dracula, the ending of "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" also establishes some interesting new mythos surrounding the character and his new pursuer, Clemens. With this Dracula using fear and intimidation to maintain his power, we get a more beastly monster who views his victims as disposable sources of food rather than people. He's much more dangerous to people than ever before and the minions he creates with the virus from his bite are much more violent and destructive than ever before. When Olgaren (Stefan Kapičić) gets possessed, he's shown to be very zombie-like and will go to any length — including self-harm — to do Dracula's bidding. Let's not forget the fact that anyone with Dracula's blood in them will be consumed by flames by the time morning comes around — further evidence that becoming Dracula's minion is deadlier than ever before. 

In Clemens, we get a new type of Van Helsing — one who will go to the ends of the earth to kill Dracula. Rather than have a background as a hunter or someone who's been tormented by Dracula for many years, his feud with Dracula is fresh and his background as a doctor gives him new ways of fighting the monster's control. These elements give the film a sense of familiarity but a newness as well, and the ending puts its own spin on the classic mythos in a way that feels exciting and interesting.

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter ending explained: does anyone survive?

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NOTE: this post contains spoilers for The Last Voyage of the Demeter ending.

The story of Dracula is more than 125 years old, as Bram Stoker's original novel was published in 1897. However, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells a previously skimmed-over section of the story, Dracula's journey from Transylvania to London aboard the titular ship. So how does (or does it at all) The Last Voyage of the Demeter ending change the Dracula legend?

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is based on the chapter "The Captain's Log" from Stoker's novel. It follows the crew, including Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) and a doctor, Clemens (Corey Hawkins), as they make the long journey from the Black Sea to London. Soon members of the crew start to disappear and fear begins to set in. With insight from a stowaway named Anna (Aisling Franciosi), the crew learns they are dealing with a monstrous creature known as Dracula (Javier Botet).

As they continue to be picked off night after night and just days away from London, the crew realizes they must figure out how to stop the creature from getting ashore and continuing his horrible killing spree.

What do they do and does anyone survive? Read on for our breakdown of The Last Voyage of the Demeter ending. (If you have not yet seen the movie, here's how to watch The Last Voyage of the Demeter .)

Does anyone survive in The Last Voyage of the Demeter?

Throughout the journey, Dracula picks off the crew of the Demeter one by one. First Petrofsky (Nikolai Nikolaeff), then Larsen (Martin Furulund), completely draining them and killing them. He also attacks Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic), but Dracula doesn't kill him. Instead, his bite infects Olgaren and causes him to act mad and be restrained.

This is when the crew truly becomes concerned with what is happening, as Clemens notices Olgaren has bite marks on him as Anna did. The next night they try to be more prepared for Dracula's emergence on the deck, but instead, he possesses Olgaren and uses him to chase Toby (Woody Norman) below the deck.

Toby hides in the captain's quarters, while Olgaren attempts to break in. However, Dracula himself is able to get into the quarters and bites Toby. While the rest of the crew arrives and stops Dracula from killing Toby, he is now infected.

The next morning, Olgaren is tied to the mast of the ship when the sun rises, causing him to burst into flames and die. When Toby does not respond to the blood transfusions that helped Anna recover, they prepare to give him a sea burial. But Captain Eliot refuses to believe Toby is dead, convinced he saw him move under the sheet. He removes the sheet and Toby does pop up, but possessed like Olgaren was. He bites the Captain and then bursts into flames from the sun. The crew quickly throws Toby overboard.

The next night, the ship's cook Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) attempts to flee on a lifeboat, but Dracula, now with his wings regenerated after feeding on the crew, flies out to him and kills him.

With only Clemens, Anna, Captain Eliot, Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) and Abrams (Chris Walley) still alive, they decide to sink the ship with Dracula on it and try to make their escape with one of the lifeboats. Using Anna as bait (she says Dracula's bite allows him to feel her, and she him), Wojchek and Abrams are in the crow's nest ready to open fire, while Clemens hides near Anna. However, a storm hits and Dracula uses it as cover to snuff out the plan, quickly killing Abrams and Wojchek.

Anna and Clemens scramble, while Captain Eliot straps himself to the helm and tries to take the ship out to sea and away from the English coast, but Dracula kills him as well.

This just leaves Anna and Clemens, who fight Dracula, trying to wound him, but nothing seems to work. Anna then gets the idea to cut the support for one of the masts, bringing it down and trapping Dracula. With the monster pinned and the Demeter blindly being thrown in the storm, Anna and Clemens abandon ship.

The Demeter crashes along the coastline, just as we see in the movie's opening moments, but Dracula was able to free himself and make his escape.

At sea, Clemens and Anna float on some of the ship's wreckage. The sun is about to rise and Anna reveals to Clemens she is still infected by Dracula. Not having had a blood transfusion in a while, her eyes are beginning to look like Olgaren and Toby's did. Clemens says he can still save her, but Anna tells him that it's OK, it is her choice to die and end being under Dracula's terror. She pushes herself away toward the rising sun, bursting into flames as it hits her.

That only leaves Clemens as the sole survivor of the Demeter.

Is there going to be a The Last Voyage of the Demeter sequel?

The movie ends with Clemens is in London, asking around for information about where Dracula's cargo from the Demeter has been taken. While in a pub, Clemens says in voiceover that he will hunt Dracula down at all costs.

It is then that he hears a knock, knock, knock, just like what was used as a signal on the Demeter. He looks around but does not see where it is coming from. We see, however, that the knocking is coming from Dracula with his cane, sitting just a short distance away, taunting Clemens.

Dracula gets up to leave, continuing to knock. Clemens follows the noise outside, but does not see Dracula. Yet he continues to hear the knocking.

This scene appears to set up a potential sequel for the movie, where Clemens would continue his pursuit of the vampire. However, as of publication, a sequel has not been greenlit.

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter just isn’t scary enough to live up to Dracula’s legacy

The last voyage of the demeter turns one of the most riveting chapters from bram stoker’s dracula into a soggy feature-length horror that never finds its sea legs..

By Charles Pulliam-Moore , a reporter focusing on film, TV, and pop culture. Before The Verge, he wrote about comic books, labor, race, and more at io9 and Gizmodo for almost five years.

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A man crouching behind a sprawled-out woman on the deck of a ship.

There have been so many cinematic adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and movies inspired by the 1897 novel over the years that it’s actually quite easy to understand some of the logic behind Universal’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter from director André Øvredal. There’s an undeniable brilliance behind the idea of building a feature-length story around one of the most haunting and cryptic chapters from a book that’s terrified multiple generations of horror lovers. But for all of The Last Voyage of the Demeter ’s promise and its obvious desire to bring something new and inspired to the larger Dracula canon, the film never quite lives up to its full potential due to a curious lack of outright scares or a properly terrifying atmosphere.

Set in the same year that Dracula was actually published, The Last Voyage of the Demeter draws much of its inspiration from the seventh chapter of Stoker’s novel — a short collection of newspaper clippings and a captain’s log detailing how a small ship full of sailors was besieged and ultimately wrecked by a monstrous presence while traveling from Romania to England.

Being a seasoned sailor who’s spent years ferrying valuable goods on the Demeter, there’s very little about the world that still truly shocks Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) by the time we first meet him in the movie’s opening act as he and his crew are preparing to set sail once again. With Eliot having recently taken in his grandson Toby (Woody Norman) following the death of his daughter, first mate Wojchek (David Dastmalchian), the Demeter’s religious cook Joseph (Jon Jon Briones), and other members of the crew like Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) all know that they’re more than just colleagues to their captain.

anna last voyage of the demeter

Eliot’s crew is his family, and he’s the key to them all making some real money transporting valuable cargo for whoever can afford their services. With the Demeter short-staffed ahead of its latest voyage from Romania to England, though, the sailors also know that they need some new blood on board, which is part of why doctor / philosopher / Cambridge graduate Clemens (Corey Hawkins) ends up being hired to join their ranks.

Being based on an interesting yet very sparse chapter from a novel the way The Last Voyage of the Demeter is, you can see why screenwriters Bragi Schut Jr. and Zak Olkewicz felt the need to pad this story with even more salty sailors and a brief but important exchange between Eliot and the unnamed group of fearful Romani villagers who drop off the precious, mysterious cargo he’s meant to carry over the ocean. In the same way that you probably know what’s in the massive crate the Demeter takes on, none of the villagers responsible for bringing it to the ship want anything to do with it, and they’re all keen on getting back to their homes before the sun sets.

With a premise as straightforward as this — “what happens when a vampire sneaks its way onto a doomed boat and starts picking sailors off?” — the challenge the movie’s up against is one of finding a novel way of presenting a classic tale rather than full-on reworking the source material for modern sensibilities. Eliot, Clemens, and the rest of the Demeter’s crew set sail for England despite all of the obvious red flags that something’s wrong because the narrative needs them to, and there wouldn’t be much of a film if they all acted with common sense.

But rather than immediately getting to the important work of creating the kind of unsettling atmosphere you’d expect from a movie about Dracula on a 20th-century boat, The Last Voyage of the Demeter gets entirely too caught up trying to positively and negatively humanize its heroes with extraneous details that don’t add much to the story.

anna last voyage of the demeter

While the film spends quite a bit of time impressing upon you how Clemens’ — who Hawkins inhabits with a steely reservedness that only eases up when he’s around Toby — Blackness makes people like Wojchek see him as less than, it does little to make Dracula’s (Javier Botet) first proper on-screen appearance really pop the way it should.

Whereas Stoker’s novel was able to give you a sense of the confusion, fear, and madness that gradually overtook the Demeter’s crew as their journey progressed, Øvredal’s film simply lays its events out without fully capitalizing on all the interesting ways it could have framed itself as a more cerebral and claustrophobic thriller. It isn’t until well into the film that everyone on the Demeter starts to become concerned with the fact that people are just straight-up disappearing from the ship while they’re in the middle of the ocean. That sort of willful ignorance can work in horror films, especially when the story’s done a solid job of establishing how and why people might be able to delude themselves into ignoring the obvious.

Here, though, it makes the Demeter’s crew seem almost comedically hapless and leaves the film feeling like it doesn’t know how else to scare viewers aside from occasionally pointing the camera at a monster dripping in VFX before it tears into someone’s throat. Thankfully, the film does pick up some much-needed momentum in its final third, which is marked by a wonderful sense of desperation and hopelessness that’s exactly what the rest of The Last Voyage of the Demeter needs. It’s just a shame that energy isn’t more evenly distributed because, when it’s present, you can see a glimpse of the truly great Dracula movie this could have been.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter also stars Nikolai Nikolaeff, Chris Walley, Nicolo Pasetti, and Sally Reeve. The film hits theaters on August 11th.

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'The Last Voyage of the Demeter' Ending Explained: Knock-Knock, It's Me Dracula

You ever had an awkward encounter at a bar where you run into the vampire you're there to hunt down after he tried to kill you and drink your blood?

The Big Picture

  • The Last Voyage of the Demeter falls short of its promise, ending with a goofy hint at a potential sequel that is one of its few surprises.
  • The film's predictable plot and lack of subtlety doom its theme and narrative, despite the efforts of the lead actors.
  • The film sets up a potential sequel as the main character, Clemens, realizes he must hunt Dracula in London, but the ending feels silly and leaves much to be desired.

Editor's Note: The following contains spoilers for The Last Voyage of the Demeter

André Øvredal’ s The Last Voyage of the Demeter is a movie with plenty of promise that unfortunately ends up falling far short of its influences before ending with one of the goofiest hints at a potential sequel that you’ll see this year. If you’ve found yourself here reading this after watching it, then you likely know all this and are just trying to piece together what the hell they were getting at with that odd cliffhanger of a conclusion. Don't worry, we were too, but we'll expand upon that ending in a moment. If you want to watch it without any knowledge of how the film concludes, bookmark this page and then rejoin us after. Other than that, let’s set sail into the full scope of this story.

The Last Voyage of The Demeter (2023)

A crew sailing from Varna (Bulgaria) by the Black Sea to England find that they are carrying very dangerous cargo.

What Is 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter' About?

To provide some background, there was a really potentially fun surprise of an experience to be had with this little horror flick. Even before the film was released into the world, it, unfortunately, was given away that this was going to be a story about Dracula . Though it would have likely benefited from a more coy marketing strategy that maintained the surprise of what lay in store and let word of mouth spread, the trailers immediately gave away the game. This was ultimately to its detriment, as the full feature itself soon becomes a rather predictable romp that falls into repetition where the greatest twist is in its setting of a boat. The crew of said vessel, led by Clemens ( Corey Hawkins ) and Anna ( Aisling Franciosi ), whose actors do their best to carry the film despite having very little to work with, must ultimately do battle with Dracula (Javier Botet) to prevent him from arriving in London where he can continue to feed. Death is everywhere as the being picks them off one by one, growing stronger and stronger until the climactic confrontation. Though Clemens and Anna go about hatching a plan, it was one that we soon realize was always doomed to fail . This comes down to reasons of both theme and narrative, each of which is hammered home with such a lack of subtlety that it ends up dooming both .

'The Last Voyage of the Demeter' Review: Dracula's Horror Cruise Lacks Bite

Dracula is the only thing that takes flight in 'the last voyage of the demeter'.

Throughout the film, it is repeatedly established that faith is part of what drives many of the crew and leads them to overlook the horrors lurking in the darkness. This means it takes an agonizing amount of time for them to rally together, by which point they are so close to shore that their plan to sink the boat with Dracula on it is comically insufficient to stop the being. That was true even before the characters discover that he can fly now . As we learned from an early scene that they were not privy to, Dracula now has wings and can swoop down on them. Thus, the supposedly brilliant plan to shoot him from atop the crow’s nest is immediately a flop when the winged vampire swoops in for a quick snack and takes them down. That then leaves Clemens and Anna on their own again. They manage to pin Dracula to the ship after a couple of close calls and then drift away on broken pieces from the vessel.

It's there where Anna meets her end in a scene tha t feels rather similar to Midnight Mass though without any of the genuine horror and emotional potency . Essentially, Anna is what Dracula had been feeding on while locked away before he breaks out. When Clemens gave her blood transfusions in the hopes that it would bring her back to health, he was also putting off her transforming into a vampire herself. That is what happens now as she turns to him with her eyes beginning to turn white just as the sun is starting to rise behind them. Even in the final moments we get with her, Franciosi continues to bring a lot of depth to a character that is largely underwritten . Of all the people that die over the course of the film, she is the one who embraces her fate and turns towards the sun. She is then consumed by fire, having ultimately failed to stop Dracula while still giving it a hell of a better attempt than any of the characters would have done without her. With Clemens now on his own and this actually rather fitting final death behind him, we pick up with the goofy tease for a potential sequel that, honestly, is one of the few surprises that this film had to offer .

How Does 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter' Set Up a Sequel?

Now in the city, Clemens is at a bar where he asks for directions to a place where he knows Dracula spends the daytime in hiding. However, as it is night, he fears it would be too dangerous to go after him right now. Wouldn’t you know it, Dracula is also there at the bar ? He knocks on the ground with his cane, literally echoing a recurring element from the film where characters would bang on the ship to communicate , and rattles Clemens to his core. When he subsequently gathers himself, he chases after his target, but he is unable to catch him. This rather silly ending seems to imply that there is a desire for a sequel in which we explore what it would be like to try to hunt for Dracula in London. There is little else to it other than that, proving to be one of the oddest and disappointing conclusions to a film this year . Only time will tell how seriously we are meant to take this tease.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is currently available to rent or own on Amazon Prime

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter is a Creative Dracula Adaptation That Bites Off a Bit More Than It Can Chew

Olivia rutigliano grades andré øvredal's new film on a curve.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter hoists sail underneath an excellent conceit. The film is an adaptation of a single chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula, Chapter VII, which is an account of a ship’s voyage chartered from Varna, Bulgaria to Whitby, England. The novel Dracula is epistolary and this account is the Captain’s Log, which records strange things happening aboard the ship. Crew members start disappearing and the sea grows tempestuous. Sailors begin reporting seeing a strange man in the shadows of the vessel. “God seems to have deserted us,” the Captain writes. By the time the ship reaches its port, everyone is dead.

The sailors do not know that they are transporting Count Dracula from his Carpathian empire to his new English home, but to readers of the novel who have spent the novel’s four opening chapters in Castle Dracula while the Count negotiates the sale of an English estate, it’s evident that he has begun his journey from his ravished homeland to a bountiful new world. The doomed voyage of the Demeter is a logical bridge between these two parts of the novel, but it’s often reduced to a single scene, or even expository shots of a ship leaving Eastern Europe and/or arriving on the shores of England.

It is a very clever idea to zero in on this oft-underrepresented section for two reasons. One, the story suggested by the Demeter ‘s log is one of incredible drama and terror, an opportunity to explore what must have been, to that doomed crew, a terrifying and dramatic mystery. Two, the tale of the Demeter is, when you think about it, a standard horror movie: it’s about a group of people who find themselves in a remote location with a powerful evil entity or serial killer (or both) who picks them off one by one.

The film, written by Bragi F. Schut and Zak Olkewicz and directed by André Øvredal, is well-versed in its source material, which doesn’t usually technically matter to the quality of a movie but which in this case helps greatly, since this film’s focused relationship to the book is its main selling point; Dracula has been remade so many times that studying the basics feels important for a film that by its very nature promises to burrow into the forgotten details.

That being said, it also takes up a very difficult task: it’s well-known at this point that Dracula does ultimately arrive in England after ravaging the ship and feeding on its crew. It’s quite a challenge to build the necessary rhymes and rhythms of the horror genre when it’s an incontrovertible fact that the entire venture is doomed anyway. It’s hard to get the audience to care about characters who are mere footnotes in the original novel and who literally must die.

For these reasons, I’m grading The Last Voyage of the Demeter  on a curve. To make up for all these obstacles, the movie has the good sense to lean into what a horror movie with these restrictions CAN do to move an audience: steep itself in atmosphere and dabble in gore. The film is equal parts rich and nasty, baroque in its rendering both of day-to-day life on a cargo ship in the late 19th century and the carnage that takes place on its final trip.

The film takes its time before the scary stuff, allowing the audience to learn about the ship itself, architecturally as well as culturally. Then, when the waters get choppy, the fog rolls in, and the vampire gets loose, the film becomes a shadowy Victorian nightmare. Visually, including in the design of its vampire, the film takes much inspiration from F. W. Murnau’s 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu, one of the few Dracula films that captures in great detail the terrors on the ship where the Count (or “Orlock,” as he is named for copyright purposes) has stowed away. One of the film’s most frightening sequences, in which the Count stalks the last of the crew, feels tonally in sync with The Last Voyage of the Demeter , even though they are separated by a century’s worth of filmmaking innovations.

But The Last Voyage of the Demeter ‘s Dracula is almost the least satisfying part. He’s not in it so much, and when he is, it’s as a Orlockian, Kurt Barlow -looking goblin. And don’t get me wrong… that’s scary. It’s plenty scary. He’s ugly as hell. But Dracula the guy is the inspiration for 126 years’ worth of entertainment, and he has more of an impact when he’s a suave foreigner than when he’s his skeletal batlike avatar, or at least when he shape-shifts between the two forms.

There are two Dracula films this year—this and Renfield — and both under-use the Count. It’s almost as if these films are scared to, and I get why. He’s one of the most interesting and complicated characters ever created — he’s evil and yet sociable, human and animal, a monster and a gentleman, ubiquitous and omnipotent and yet with many restrictions, invulnerable but with many opportunities for vulnerability. He might literally be the devil. He’s also a feudal landlord from Eastern Europe attempting to fit in busy metropolitan London. That’s a lot to factor in, or even to pick and choose from, when designing a Dracula for your movie. The Last Voyage of the Demeter ‘s  choice to make him more monster than man works well for the jump scares but also depersonalizes, uncomplicates him as a villain.

But this film is mostly about the crew dealing with an unknown, threatening presence among them—like in Alien (1979). Not to recklessly compare movies, but I’d say that this doesn’t work as well because the audience of The Last Voyage of the Demeter has so much more information about the monster than the audience of Alien. And also because the audience knows that Dracula himself is way more interesting than any of the regular guys pulling the lines and steering the ship, even though the actors do their damnedest.

Liam Cunningham plays the dignified Captain Elliott, who permits a young doctor named Clemens (Corey Hawkins) to join the crew before the ship departs Varna. Because Clemens is Black, the mostly Slavic and Irish crew treats him with a bit of racism, but no more than he’s experienced before, he explains. The first mate, Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) is a bit suspicious of him, but the Captain’s grandson Toby (Woody Norman) and Toby’s dog both take a liking to him. So does a veteran sailor named Olgar en ( Stefan Kapicic). But things grow complicated after they discover all the livestock have been slaughtered and find a young Slavic woman named Anna (Aisling Franciosi) inside one of the many crates of dirt that are being stowed aboard in the hull.

Amid these strange developments, the crew focuses their suspicions on the wrong newcomers, worrying about the two strangers above deck (Clemens and Anna) instead of realizing that there is a worse one below. The film doesn’t really turn itself into a witchhunt before it becomes a vampire hunt, which feels like a missed opportunity to complicate an otherwise very, very simple film.

Still, when Dracula does materialize, the film becomes a bracing game of hide-and-go-seek with the devil. And if that’s all it accomplishes, that isn’t worth nothing. The film might bite off more than it can chew, but it’s still a dark, deluxe vampire slasher. And, like, I’ll drink to that.

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Olivia Rutigliano

Olivia Rutigliano

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Your guide to the latest plot twists and surprise endings, now playing at a theater near you!

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1897 – A cargo ship is heading from Romania to England. When it is found on the shores, it is derelict with no survivors onboard. A lighthouse crew finds the wreckage, and they recover a captain’s log, detailing an account of what led to the crew’s demise.

Four days earlier, Captain Elliot (Liam Cunningham) and his first mate Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) are looking for crew members to board the Demeter to sail to England. They are approached by a doctor named Clemens (Corey Hawkins), who previously studied at Cambridge. However, Wojchek turns him down in favor of three other men. Clemens follows anyway.

As the men are gathering their cargo onto the ship, one of the men gets spooked when he sees a crate that has the symbol of a dragon on it, causing him to lose his grip on it. The crate slips and nearly crushes Elliot’s grandson Toby (Woody Norman), but Clemens pulls him out of the way in time. The man leaves, fearing that the dragon symbol is a bad omen. Elliot is thankful to Clemens, and he boards the ship, along with crew mates Abrams (Chris Walley), Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic), Petrofsky (Nikolai Nikolaeff), Larsen (Martin Furulund), and Joseph (Jon Jon Briones).

Toby gives Clemens a tour of the boat, showing him the livestock and his dog Huckleberry. Clemens later dines with the crew, saying that his desire is to understand the way the world works. Meanwhile, the crate with the dragon symbol begins to move and falls over, and something appears to emerge from it.

The crew makes their way to England, but they later discover that something violently killed Huckleberry and the livestock. Toby is devastated for Huck’s loss and because he was entrusted by Elliot to look after the animals, but Clemens comforts him. After the men toss the animals overboard, they investigate the cargo and find a woman (Aisling Franciosi) just barely alive having been stowed away in one of the crates. Clemens administers blood transfusions to keep her stable. Petrofsky makes derogatory comments regarding Clemens and the woman, and when Clemens attempts to retaliate, Larsen holds a knife at him. Toby later tells Clemens that the woman has been speaking slightly and that her name is Anna.

At night, Petrofsky is keeping watch on deck while the rest of the crew sleeps. He hears a knocking sound and goes to investigate. Petrofsky then sees a sickly-looking creature (Javier Botet) crawling on deck. Before he can do anything else, the creature lunges at Petrofsky and slashes his throat with its claws before proceeding to suck his blood out.

The crew becomes weary when they find Petrofsky’s blood smeared across the deck. Wojchek initially accuses Clemens, even though he was the one who reported Petrofsky’s demise. Later at night, Olgaren and Larsen are keeping watch on deck, when the same creature attacks Larsen and drags his face across the deck before devouring him. Olgaren climbs high up to escape the creature, only for it to follow and bite into Olgaren’s head, leaving him alive but gravely wounded.

Olgaren is strapped to a bed to be tended to, but as night falls, he becomes free from his bindings and goes after Toby, as he has now become a bloodthirsty drone. Toby hides in the captain’s quarters and locks himself in there. The rest of the crew realizes something is wrong and heads below deck. They subdue Olgaren and try to break through the door, but Toby is being stalked by the creature. Anna comes by and grabs a rifle to blow the lock off the door, but by then, Toby has already been attacked by the creature, who has taken most of his blood.

Abrams is left to keep watch on the deck at night. Joseph knocks him out and tries to take a lifeboat to get off the ship and away from the creature. Unfortunately, it can fly and manages to find Joseph and kill him, letting the boat come back to the Demeter empty but bloodied.

While Toby is placed in care, Olgaren is strapped to the mast of the ship. He claims he can hear every sound of the wind, ocean, and the blood pumping in everyone’s veins. The sun begins to rise, and Olgaren complains that he feels a burning sensation. The sunlight touches his skin, causing him to violently combust in agony before Wojchek shoots him in the head. Anna talks to Clemens and explains that she knows what is the cause of all this. In her village, she lived near a castle where the creature dwelled. He is none other than Dracula. He has bitten Anna and was planning to use her as blood rations, but the transfusions that Clemens gave her prevented her from turning like Olgaren did. Elliot wants to stop at the next port for the crew’s safety, but they protest because it would mean they would not get a bonus payment as was promised.

Fearing Toby will suffer the same fate, the crew wraps him in a sheet and prepares to throw his body into the ocean. After Anna says a prayer for him, Elliot becomes delusional in his grief and thinks Toby is moving. He opens the sheet, and Toby becomes vampiric. The sunlight burns him too, and Elliot suffers burns on his skin from touching the boy. They throw him into the ocean where he ultimately dies, and Elliot is left in despair.

As the Demeter gets closer to England, the crew fears of what may happen if they bring Dracula with them. Elliot becomes more delusional, believing that they can use Dracula to revive Toby, but Anna talks him down from it. The crew resolves to make their final stand with Dracula by bringing him down with the ship, even though Wojchek doesn’t want to because he claims the ship is his home.

Night falls, and the crew gets ready for Dracula’s appearance. The vampire beast swoops by and kills Abrams first while Elliot plans to go down with the ship. Wojchek falls through the deck and breaks his leg, and Dracula kills him before going after Elliot. Clemens attempts to fight Dracula, but the villain grabs Clemens by the throat. He says he does not fear him, and the vampire speaks for the first time, saying “You will.” Anna grabs a rifle and fires at Dracula, then cuts the mast down so it can pin him down. She and Clemens make it off the Demeter as it crashes against the shores in England where the lighthouse crew finds it, and Dracula flees.

The morning comes, and Clemens sees that Anna is slowly reverting to her vampirism. While he suggests making another transfusion, she says it will only prolong the inevitable. She bids him farewell and separates from him as the sun begins to rise, and she burns to death.

Clemens arrives in London, while the entire crew of the Demeter is reported dead. Clemens goes to a nearby pub to seek out the abbey where Dracula once lived, and then hears the same knocking sound from the ship. The evil vampire is there in London disguised as a man, carrying the same wolf cane he came onboard with. Clemens follows Dracula outside and vows to not rest until he sends the creature back to Hell once and for all.

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In 1897, the crew of the Demeter is transporting cargo from Romania to England, unaware that they are onboard with none other than the legendary vampire Dracula. He has kept a woman named Anna with him as blood rations, but since Clemens, a doctor, gave her transfusions, the creature goes after the crew.

Dracula first kills the livestock onboard and slaughters most of the crew, turning a man named Olgaren into a vampire before he burns in the sun. Captain Elliot's grandson Toby also suffers the same fate despite Elliot thinking the boy can be saved. The remaining crew resolves to make their last stand against Dracula by letting him go down with the ship. Clemens and Anna remain alive long enough to subdue Dracula and get off the ship before it crashes against the shores. However, Anna knows she will become a vampire too and decides to let herself burn in the sunlight as well.

Clemens makes it to London and discovers that Dracula now walks among the people disguised as a man. Clemens vows to hunt him down and kill him for good.

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How David Dastmalchian faced down his real-life demons for The Boogeyman

Opening up about his past struggles with addiction, homelessness, and depression, the character actor maintains gratitude for his string of opportunities: Stephen King adaptation The Boogeyman, Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, and Dracula tale The Last Voyage of the Demeter.

Senior Writer

In Stephen King adaptation The Boogeyman , Air star Chris Messina plays a psychiatrist and widower with two children whose life is terrifyingly altered by a visitor. That unexpected arrival is Lester Billings, played by David Dastmalchian , who describes the man as "even more lost, more pained."

"With Lester comes a story that's not only going to change this family's life but is going to introduce a materialized horror the likes of which the people in this film — and I think audiences — have really never seen before," warns Dastmalchian, 47.

The Boogeyman (out June 2) is among several upcoming 2023 films to feature the Kansas-raised actor, who has a yet-to-be-announced role in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer (out July 21) and portrays a Polish sailor in the Dracula tale The Last Voyage of the Demeter (out Aug. 18). But it's this horror endeavor that frightened him the most.

Dastmalchian grew up reading King and was already familiar with the author's film-inspiring short story "The Boogeyman" from its inclusion in the 1978 collection Night Shift . "I've got it dog-eared on my shelf," he tells EW over Zoom from his book- and comic-filled home office. "Every story I know backwards and forwards."

Even so, Dastmalchian initially turned down the offer to play Billings in The Boogeyman , which is directed by hot Brit horror talent Rob Savage (2020's Host ). "It was really hard for me to think about going into Lester's reality," the actor explains. "In fact, it scared the s--- out of me."

Speaking candidly, he says, "I'm someone who nearly took my life a number of times and that's a theme which this story plays with. So, I actually said, 'I don't think I can do this,' the first couple of times they came round. Then I thought a lot about what Stephen King means to me, and I thought about this director, Rob, and what his vision meant, because we met and talked. And then I said, 'Okay, let's see what happens.' And it was hard, man. It was really hard."

Savage, for one, is very grateful that Dastmalchian changed his mind. "He brought a vulnerability and a nervy unpredictability to the role of Lester Billings, a celebrated King character that could have veered into caricature in the wrong hands," says the filmmaker. "David is one of the most thoughtful, collaborative, and committed actors I've ever worked with. This might be an unrealistic career goal, but I want him to be in every movie I ever make."

It would seem as though other directors feel the same way. This year alone, Dastmalchian has voiced the character Veb in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and played suspected serial killer Albert DeSalvo in Hulu film The Boston Strangler , on top of his previously mentioned credits. The horror lover also plans on co-hosting this year's Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, the magazine's annual celebration of the genre, which premieres on Shudder May 21. Meanwhile, he continues to write his comic book, Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter , which he says "explores all the issues that really matter to me, including addiction and mental wellness, while set in the world of late-night horror hosts and monsters."

Dastmalchian, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children, counts himself lucky: "I can't believe my life," he adds.

That life has not always been rosy for the actor, who suffers from bouts of severe depression and began using drugs in high school to self-medicate. After graduating, Dastmalchian moved to Chicago and enrolled in DePaul University's theater program but succumbed to heroin addiction in the course of his studies and wound up homeless. He eventually entered a psychiatric facility, followed by rehab, and started working low-paid jobs while he took roles on the stage. Half a decade into his recovery, he got the chance to audition for Nolan's second Batman film, 2008's The Dark Knight , which was shooting in Chicago.

"In 2007, I was five years clean and sober," he says. "I was doing theater for free basically in Chicago and working as a telemarketer. I got the opportunity to audition for this film based upon one of my favorite characters of all time." Nolan was impressed enough by the unknown actor to cast him as an unhinged henchman of Heath Ledger 's Joker named Thomas Schiff.

"One of the greatest filmmakers of all time looked at me and said, 'Yeah, you. Come be a part of this,'" recalls Dastmalchian, still amazed. "My last day of filming The Dark Knight , I remember I walked past the alley where I used to sleep when I was homeless and struggling with my addiction. That experience, my very first time of being on the set of a movie, changed my life in every way you can possibly imagine."

Years later, Dastmalchian gets another call from Nolan, this time for the star-studded Oppenheimer , a biopic starring Cillian Murphy as physicist and so-called "father of the atomic bomb" J. Robert Oppenheimer. "I didn't even think he remembered me. I didn't even think he would know who I was," Dastmalchian remarks of Nolan. "It turns out I was wrong, and he gave me an opportunity to come and play in his incredible creative space, with some of the best actors of our time, all of whom treated me so kindly, and welcomed me, and made me feel like I belonged. Which was humbling because I don't ever feel like I belong, especially when you're amongst the ranks of artists like Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy and all of these amazing artists."

While it is unlikely that the famously detail-obsessed Nolan would have forgotten Dastmalchian, the director had plenty of chances to be reminded of his talents. In the years between The Dark Knight and Oppenheimer , the actor appeared in a slew of big screen projects, including the first two Ant-Man movies, playing Scott Lang's associate Kurt; three films directed by Denis Villeneuve (2013's Prisoners , 2017's Blade Runner 2049 , 2021's Dune ); and 2021's James Gunn -directed The Suicide Squad , playing the obscure supervillain Polka-Dot Man. It was while shooting the latter that Dastmalchian came across the cute-as-a-button cat who is crawling all over the actor as we talk.

"This is Bubblegum," he says. "We were in the streets of Panama, and this little beautiful cat just kept coming up to us, wanting love, and so now I've got her, and she's part of my family. I tell you what, these last couple of years were really tough with the pandemic, and I lost both of my parents, and we had a lot of difficult times, and it's amazing the magic that a cat can bring to your life. Bubblegum helped me through a lot of my grief-processing."

As has probably become clear by now, Dastmalchian is happy to talk about his mental health issues. The actor is keen to promote the idea that such transparency is a good thing.

"There's so much stigma around that stuff," he says today. "I'm just a character actor, I'm not some movie star, I don't have some massive platform with billions of fans. But whenever I get the opportunity, [I say that] the reality [is] we have to get rid of these f---ing stigmas, we have to talk to each other about this stuff. We're not allowed to be as vulnerable as we need to be, to be healthy, to live the lives that we're capable of living. I think we're getting somewhere, but there's so far to go."

Dastmalchian's description of himself as a "character actor" is accurate. While he played the male lead in 2014's Animals , a semi-autobiographical drama about heroin addicts which he also wrote, nearly all his onscreen appearances have been in supporting roles. Not that you'll hear the actor complaining about that.

"Every character's important, every role's important," he says. "I know it's an old cliché, but I did learn that in Chicago theater, when I was only getting to be, say, Montano in Othello . You know, you've got two scenes to try and actually help propel a story. As a character actor, as someone who's always looked up to the John Cazales and the Peter Lorres of cinema history, I want to be like a slingshot to the movies, you know what I mean? I want to be a guy that helps shoot things forward."

Dastmalchian is thrilled to have found life working in the horror genre and talks excitedly about his role in The Last Voyage of the Demeter , which is adapted from a chapter in Bram Stoker's original novel Dracula and takes place on a ship transporting the vampire-Count to Britain.

"As a horror hound, as a monster kid, Dracula was by far one of my favorite books growing up," he says. "The story of the Demeter, to me, it felt like Ridley Scott's Alien on board a merchant ship in the 1800s. It's great storytelling. It was a hard shoot, the hardest I've ever done. Took a lot out of me physically, because I had to learn how to be a sailor, I had to learn Polish, but thank god I got to be a part of it."

Dastmalchian is similarly enthusiastic about yet another horror film on which he recently worked, Late Night With the Devil . The currently undated movie is directed by Australian brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes, and gifts the actor another lead role as a late-night talk show host whose attempt to boost his ratings leads to horrifying consequences.

"His show is going to be cancelled because Johnny Carson is blowing him away, so he does in one night all this stuff, trying to save his show, and crosses some lines ethically," he says.

Late Night With the Devil recently won the Audience Award at the horror movie-showcasing Overlook Festival. The film also got a severed-thumbs up on Twitter from Stephen King who described the movie as, "absolutely brilliant. I couldn't take my eyes off it." The author would have equally good things to say about The Boogeyman .

"Stephen King sent a personal email to our director telling him how much he loved The Boogeyman , which is such a badge of honor for me," says Dastmalchian. "Then, he tweeted that he had gotten to see a secret cut of Late Night With the Devil and he wrote this glowing review of that. So, at the moment, I'm having a surreal horror hound transcendence. Stephen King seems to have liked two of the things that I helped make this year and that right there feels like the kind of thing that makes me go, 'Oh! Okay, I can retire.'"

"Although," he adds, "I'll never retire."

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  • Dracula sets sail in trailer for horror movie The Last Voyage of the Demeter
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anna last voyage of the demeter

  • DVD & Streaming

The Last Voyage of the Demeter

  • Drama , Horror

Content Caution

The Last Voyage of the Demeter 2023

In Theaters

  • August 11, 2023
  • Corey Hawkins as Clemens; Aisling Franciosi as Anna; Liam Cunningham as Captain Elliot; David Dastmalchian as Wojchek; Javier Botet as Dracula

Home Release Date

  • August 29, 2023
  • André Øvredal


  • Universal Pictures

Movie Review

Here there be monsters.

We might see those words scrawled in the blank patches of ancient maps, often with imaginative illustrations of the monsters themselves. Gigantic serpents writhing in the waves. Titanic lobsters, with men squirming in their claws. Fish with wolves’ heads; lizards with eyes dotting their bodies.

When so much was unknown, the sea was a place of danger—not just from the sea and storms but from the creatures of nightmare.

By 1897, of course, those fanciful notions had vanished from maps, replaced with continents and countries and hard, cold coastlines. The globe had been measured and mapped. And while a trip to sea was still a dangerous enterprise—many a ship still sank in the ocean’s gray waters—its threats were more prosaic. Unexpected storms. Unseen reefs. Accidents. Errors.

Clemens, a doctor serving as a hand on the merchant ship Demeter, appreciates this era of rational seagoing. He’s a man of science, not superstition. He may know that Nicholas is the patron saint of seafarers, but he does not petition him. When a woman is found stowed away aboard the ship, he does not grumble that she’s “bad luck,” like so many of his mates. And he certainly does not believe that there’s a supernatural evil haunting its decks.

Still, as the voyage from Bulgaria to England draws long, it’s hard to ignore the dead livestock—all with their throats torn out. The absence of rats. The crewman who vanishes without a trace. Well, outside all the blood, that is.

The woman keeps talking about a “devil” aboard and how they’ll never reach port alive. And while Clemens doesn’t believe that a devil prowls the decks, it’s obvious that something is.

The waters swirling around the Demeter are dangerous, yes. But the real danger is on the ship. Here, there be monsters.

Positive Elements

Clearly, something really, really bad is happening on the Demeter. And when that danger grows more obvious and its goals become known, a handful of survivors band together to try to keep the monster from reaching its desired destination, risking their lives to do so.

When some of the crew want to throw the stowaway woman, Anna, overboard, Clemens is determined to save her. (The captain sides with the doctor but tells Clemens that he’ll be splitting his rations with Anna for the rest of the trip.)

The Demeter’s skipper, Captain Elliott, has brought along his grandson, Toby, as a sort of cabin boy. It’s clear that Elliott loves the boy, and that Toby in turn wants to do the very best job he can for his grandpa.

Spiritual Elements

The monster aboard the ship is none other than Dracula—a vampire. He’s far from the more debonaire figure we’re used to seeing: Indeed, he’s more like a beast or demon than a man. And the monster’s very nature forms the core of an ongoing spiritual debate with Clemens and the crew (and frankly, with Clemens and himself).

Anna knows the creature well, and she’s not intending to exaggerate when she calls it a “devil.” Others familiar with the thing and its legend (it’s well known in the Bulgarian port of Varna, from which the Demeter sets sail) would agree: The creature, they insist, is the walking embodiment of evil, and a very spiritual evil at that.

Many invoke God as well, asking the Almighty to preserve the ship and its crew when they realize what’s coming with them. (One says, in an echo of traditional death sentence language, “God have mercy on your souls.”) In moments of peril, some characters use crosses as amulets of protection against the thing—though, it seems, without much success.

Clemens is increasingly hard-pressed to say that Dracula is merely a product of nature . The fact that some of his victims seem to die and come back to life—and moreover can be destroyed by simple sunlight—speaks to a more supernatural evil. Ultimately, he admits that the monster is not something that “science or reason” can explain.

Most of the humans aboard the Demeter seem to have some form of Christian faith, but the most devout by far is the cook. He tells newcomer Clemens that he won’t feed anyone who takes the Lord’s name in vain. And then, to underline the point, he asks Clemens who St. Nicholas is. (Clemens knows he’s the patron saint of seafarers, though he admits to someone later that he’s not a particularly faithful man himself.)

Unfortunately (if rather predictably), the cook turns out to be a scoundrel. As circumstances grow ever-more-serious aboard the Demeter, the cook says that the ship is being judged for its sins (which, in the cook’s estimation, are many). And in an effort to not be a victim himself, the cook betrays the crew, steals a lifeboat and skedaddles—taking a Bible with him. He offers a prayer in a moment of danger.

Prayers are said, including a rather lovely one at a deckside funeral. Some lament that God appears to have deserted them. One character seems ready to make a deal with Dracula for someone’s life, but later brandishes a crucifix before him and shouts, “I renounce you!”

When the woman is discovered, a crewman says, “We let Poseidon deal with stowaways.” It’s his way of saying that they typically toss them overboard and let the mythical Greek god of the seas take care of them. The Demeter itself is named after the Greek goddess of agriculture and the harvest. (It’s an appropriate name, perhaps, given that Dracula seems to be harvesting and feeding on his victims, one by one.)

Sexual Content

A few of the crewmen talk about how they might use their bonus pay, referencing brothels and licentious nights with willing women. 9-year-old Toby insists he knows what a brothel is, explaining that it’s a place “where you take your knickers off.” When the cook lists a litany of the ship’s sins, he points to one of the crewmen as a man who especially likes cavorting with prostitutes.

Anna, we learn, was “given” to Dracula by her own village to protect the rest of its citizens. The monster regularly feeds on her (she pulls down a portion of her top to reveal several bite marks on her bare shoulder and upper arm). But the legend of Dracula—beginning with Bram Stoker’s original book—has always come with an undercurrent of sex, and Anna’s stories wouldn’t sound out of place when talking about a sexual predator.

Speaking of Dracula, the creature here doesn’t wear clothes. But this Dracula is far more creature than man—sort of a demon bat, if that makes sense—and no discernible private parts are ever visible.

Violent Content

Dracula is a messy eater.

He starts with the livestock, and we see their mangled carcasses stained with blood. Once he progresses to people, the carnage grows worse. One man has his throat slashed open and is allowed to stagger across the deck—bleeding profusely—before the monster knocks him down and begins to feed. Most of his victims predictably have their necks torn open, but Dracula does like some variety: One character’s head is bashed repeatedly against the deck until the head is bloodied and broken. Another man is yanked into a sail, leaving a bloody stain on the cloth. Dracula likes to play with his food, too, dragging a sharp talon across someone’s neck to draw a trickle of blood.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter embraces the idea that vampires (or those infected by them) are seriously allergic to sunlight—and boy, what an allergy we see here. A few folks are victimized twice —once by being bitten, fed on and apparently killed by Dracula, then again when they’re exposed to sunlight and allowed to immolate in a frenzy of blisters, burns and screams. (One man is burnt by a flaming corpse himself.)

An infected man tries to gain access to a cabin by smashing his face against the door. (Naturally, his face suffers just as much damage as the door does.) Someone’s knocked out. Guns are pointed, and bullets sometimes rip through flesh. A boy is almost crushed by a giant box. People are thrown about. Needles are inserted into arms.

[ Spoiler Warning ] While The Last Voyage of the Demeter is predictably bloody, it stands apart for its storytelling sadism. For those who are particularly bothered by violence against children, this is a movie to avoid.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear a smattering of profanity, including one use of the word “a–” and a few apiece of “h—” and the British profanity “bloody.” God’s name is misused around five times, and Jesus’ name is abused once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Characters drink some sort of alcohol with dinner, and others contemplate getting drunk while on shore. A gambling scene features plenty of cups on the table, likely filled with liquor.

Other Negative Elements

It’s obvious that Clemens, who is Black, has dealt with plenty of racism in his young medical career, unable to actually practice medicine most anywhere. Meanwhile, on the Demeter, he’s again treated unkindly—not because of his skin color, but because of his education.

Clemens gambles with several men.

The crew of the Demeter is promised a hefty bonus if the ship reaches London before August 6. When Clemens is asked what he’d do with his share, he says that what he most wants is something that gold can’t buy: He simply wants to understand the world.

“The more I see of it, the less of it makes any sense,” he says.

You could say the same thing about the movie.

Certainly, this is the case on a superficial level. The movie has more holes in it than some of Dracula’s victims. But spiritually, and tonally, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is particularly inconsistent.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is based on one chapter from Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula . Written from the perspective of the captain’s log, the chapter is filled with unseen dread. Crewmen disappear one by one. Survivors whisper of an unknown man aboard, “tall and thin, and ghastly pale.” Only near the end of the chapter is the voyage’s true horror revealed. The captain is later found dead, a cross around his neck and his hands tied to the wheel.

Two things to make note of in Stoker’s narrative: First, the haunting restraint shown by the author. No gore-strewn decks, no exhaustive descriptions of the monster. The terror is hidden in the ship’s shadows.

But second, within those shadows, we see a glimmer of hope: The cross around the captain’s neck. The captain was dead but unmolested. The captain knew what object the monster “dare not touch; and then come good wind or foul, I shall save my soul, and my honour as a captain.”

In The Last Voyage of the Demeter, no horror is unseen, no atrocity unheard. Stoker’s shadowed evil becomes a CGI ghoul. The way in which the film treats its characters goes beyond hard or tragic to merely—and sometimes laughably—sadistic. The movie, like the monster itself, seems to revel in the blood, draining it of interest as it abuses its on-screen characters.

And despite the presence of a clearly supernatural creature, it throws its spiritual antidote—the presence of the cross—overboard like so much bilgewater.

The movie isn’t anti-Christian; its muddled message is more mixed than that. It gives us a man of reason and science as our hero, then shakes his form of faith. It offers a beautiful prayer to a dead victim, then undercuts that prayer with a scene of despairing violence. The more this movie shows, the less sense it makes.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter tries to flesh out (if you will) a haunting chapter in a Victorian classic. But in so doing, it loses sight of what made it haunting—and what makes Stoker’s story still resonate 130 years later. The film, like Dracula himself, comes to the fore filled with blood but without a soul to speak of.

The Plugged In Show logo

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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Screen Rant

Bill skarsgård's new horror movie can redeem the monster of a 2023 bomb.

Rising horror icon Bill Skarsgård's upcoming spine-chiller could represent a rebound for one specific horror subgenre after last year's critical bomb.

  • Bill Skarsgård's Nosferatu could redeem the failures of past vampire movies, offering a fresh take on the iconic horror villain.
  • The upcoming remake focuses on Count Orlok and the eerie atmosphere of the original, promising a spine-chilling experience for fans.
  • With Robert Eggers at the helm, expect a visually stunning film that pays homage to the classic while bringing a new twist to the vampire genre.

Bill Skarsgård is quickly becoming one of the first names in horror, and his latest monster movie Nosferatu could redeem a specific 2023 horror flop. Nosferatu 's disturbingly creepy Count Orlok in the gothic vampire tale from director Robert Eggers will not be the first vampire Bill Skarsgård has played , but it could be his most iconic horror role since Pennywise in the 2017 remake of Stephen King's It . However, it's a more recent vampire movie that stands as the most direct comparison to Nosferatu , and its failure could be redeemed by Nosferatu 's anticipated success.

While details like Nosferatu 's release date have been revealed, there has been very little news regarding the movie's plot. Obviously it will borrow heavily from the 1922 German Expressionist film that it's based upon, but with Robert Eggers' unique attention to period detail and spine-tingling imagery added into the mix. The story behind Nosferatu , and its lead character Count Orlok, are based heavily on Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula , and it's the failure of another Dracula -related vampire movie that Nosferatu could atone for when it debuts in December 2024.

Nosferatu: Bill Skarsgård's Vampire Terrorizes Lily-Rose Depp In Horror Remake's CinemaCon Footage

Nosferatu can redeem 2023's the last voyage of the demeter, skarsgård's character is closer to the 2023 movie's version of dracula..

2023's The Last Voyage of the Demeter focused on a specific chapter of Bram Stoker's Dracula , titled "The Captain's Log". It's the story of how the boat that ferried Dracula from his home in Transyvania to London, England came to be deserted when it arrived at port. The 2023 movie starred Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, David Dastmalchian, and Liam Cunningham, and despite its sizable budget ($45 million) and recognizable cast, it was a disaster at the box office . The Last Voyage of the Demeter mustered just $21.8 million, which is partially owed to its poor critical reception.

Javier Botet's vampire creature in The Last Voyage of the Demeter was actually mentioned as both Dracula and Nosferatu in the movie's credits.

Bill Skarsgård will play the villainous Count Orlok in Nosferatu , and his pale, long-fingered vampire comes far closer to the creature depicted in Demeter than Bela Lugosi's traditional Eastern European nobleman from 1933. While the new movie's story will not compare entirely to Demeter , it still looks like it will evoke similar story elements, such as Orlok's stalking of his prey (Lily Rose-Depp's Ellen Hutter). Bill Skarsgård's horror roles have by and large been successful over the years, so he stands a great chance of redeeming The Last Voyage of the Demeter by collaborating with Robert Eggers.

Bill Skarsgård's Nosferatu Can Break The Recent Run Of Bad Vampire Movies

The last voyage of the demeter is not the only recent vampire box office bomb..

Nosferatu can redeem more than just The Last Voyage of the Demeter ; the entire vampire subgenre has suffered in recent years when it comes to big-budget success. Many recent vampire movies have been astounding disappointments at the box office, with very few big-budget efforts failing to register with critics either. For example, the vampire Morbius produced one of the lowest Rotten Tomatoes scores ever for a Marvel character. Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult's Dracula movie Renfield was also a critical disaster, and Jamie Foxx's $100M Netflix vampire hunter movie Day Shift received middling reviews at best.

While the recently-released Abigail has been a hit with critics, financially it has continued the disappointing box office trend for horror movies . Nosferatu can go a long way towards reviving vampires in modern horror , which is sorely needed at the general box office despite a number of smaller-scale films being considered hits. Bill Skarsgård's status as a go-to horror star should certainly help make sure that his Count Orlok becomes a new classic horror villain when Nosferatu hits theaters.

Nosferatu (2024)

Nosferatu is a remake of the 1922 silent film of the same name from director F. W. Murnau. Robert Eggers is crafting his own version of the story for the reboot as writer and director, with Bill Skarsgård stepping into the shoes of Count Orlok. Nosferatu tells the tale of a young woman who falls victim to a vampire utterly infatuated with her.


Max: 'The Last Voyage of Demeter' is the fifth most-watched movie worldwide

"The Last Voyage of the Demeter," directed by André Øvredal. has entered the Top 10 on Max worldwide. However, in the US, you can find it in different platforms, including for free.

  • Max: 'The Last Voyage of Demeter' is the fifth most-watched movie
  • 'The Sympathizer' became the third most-watched series on Max globally

By Natalia Lobo

April 21, 2024 06:30PM EDT

In the age of streaming, some movies have gained a second life when arriving on a platform. That’s the case of this horror film, “The Last Voyage of the Demeter,” which was released last year but now it’s one of the most watched titles on Max worldwide. However, in the US, you will find it on Fubo (which offers a seven-day free trial), and Paramount+.

The supernatural horror film, directed by André Øvredal, is an adaptation of “The Captain’s Log”, a chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Per F lixPatrol, the film currently holds the global Top 5 spot.

Melissa Barrera's Abigail online: When will the horror film debut on streaming?

However, when it came to box office performance, the movie didn’t break even, grossing only $21.7 million worldwide against a budget of $45 million. Critically, it also received mixed reviews by critics but fans were more enthusiastic about it.

‘The Last Voyage of Demeter,’ a period horror film to fans of the genre

Starring Corey Hawkins , Liam Cunningham, Aisling Franciosi, David Dastmalchian, Woody Norman and Javier Botet as Dracula, the film is set in 1897 and follows the crew of the merchant ship named Demeter as they sail from Transylvania to London, while Dracula is stalking them.

The story follows a typical slasher film formula, with the legendary vampire killing the crew members one by one. However, to add to the tension, Dracula’s full image isn’t shown at the beginning, but it’s slowly revealed throughout the film.

Øvredal told Collider that he wanted to work “with the dramatic effect of discovery,” and in this case the biggest discovery in the movie is the “evolution of the creature,” so they kept it in the “shadows” in the beginning of the film.

According to the critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, in which the film holds a 49% score on the platform, the movie is definitely a fresh take on the character but the execution wasn’t that interesting. Meanwhile, the audience thinks the film is a “ solidly scary Dracula movie.”

natalia lobo

Natalia is an entertainment journalist at Spoiler US, where she covers everything related to the film industry, series, reality TV, and celebrity news. With a diverse background that includes reporting on sports (soccer and tennis), as well as fashion and culture, she brings a rich perspective to her current role. Natalia holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication and Media from the Universidad Central of Venezuela (UCV) and has over seven years of experience in digital media. Previously, she has contributed her bilingual skills in English and Spanish to outlets such as Bolavip US, Revista Exclusiva, and Cambio16.

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anna last voyage of the demeter


  1. Who Plays Anna In The Last Voyage Of The Demeter

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  2. Last Voyage of the Demeter Reviews

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  3. The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

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  6. Watch The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023) Full Movie Online

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  1. The Last Voyage of the Demeter

    The Last Voyage of the Demeter (also known as Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter in some international markets) is a 2023 American supernatural horror film directed by André Øvredal and written by Bragi F. Schut, Jr. and Zak Olkewicz. It is an adaptation of "The Captain's Log", a chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.The film stars Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham ...

  2. Last Voyage Of The Demeter Cast Guide: Who's Who In The Terrifying New

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  8. The Last Voyage Of The Demeter Ending Explained: That Sinking ...

    In a pile of dirt, he finds the body of Anna (Aisling Franciosi), a young woman at death's door due to, as Clemens diagnoses it, a blood disease. At the same time, the crew begins finding strange ...

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    On the Demeter, things run smoothly at first but are shaken up by the arrival of Anna (Franciosi), a stowaway within the cargo. ... André Øvredal's The Last Voyage of the Demeter falls prey to ...

  11. The Last Voyage of the Demeter

    Rated: 3/4 • Oct 28, 2023. 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 ...

  12. The Last Voyage of the Demeter Movie Clip

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  13. The Last Voyage of the Demeter's ending, explained

    The ending of this movie was never in doubt. After all, it is called The Last Voyage of the Demeter, and the opening moments of the film show the wreck of the ship and the alarmed reactions of the ...

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    The current projections for "The Last Voyage of the Demeter" range from about $6 to $11 million — which wouldn't put it in striking distance of either film based on what they're projected to earn.

  15. The Last Voyage of the Demeter ending explained: does anyone ...

    NOTE: this post contains spoilers for The Last Voyage of the Demeter ending.. The story of Dracula is more than 125 years old, as Bram Stoker's original novel was published in 1897. However, The ...

  16. The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

    The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. ... Anna Jürges ... special effects project manager Oscar Knapps ... special effects senior technician Uwe Lehmann ... weapons master Alexander Lindner ...

  17. The Last Voyage of The Demeter

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  19. 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter' Ending Explained: It's Me Dracula

    The Last Voyage of The Demeter (2023) R. A crew sailing from Varna (Bulgaria) by the Black Sea to England find that they are carrying very dangerous cargo. Release Date. August 11, 2023. Director ...

  20. The Last Voyage of the Demeter

    The Last Voyage of the Demeter hoists sail underneath an excellent conceit.The film is an adaptation of a single chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula, Chapter VII, which is an account of a ship's voyage chartered from Varna, Bulgaria to Whitby, England.The novel Dracula is epistolary and this account is the Captain's Log, which records strange things happening aboard the ship.


    THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER. 1897 - A cargo ship is heading from Romania to England. When it is found on the shores, it is derelict with no survivors onboard. A lighthouse crew finds the wreckage, and they recover a captain's log, detailing an account of what led to the crew's demise. Four days earlier, Captain Elliot (Liam Cunningham ...

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  24. The Last Voyage of the Demeter

    The Last Voyage of the Demeter is based on one chapter from Bram Stoker's classic Dracula. Written from the perspective of the captain's log, the chapter is filled with unseen dread. Crewmen disappear one by one. Survivors whisper of an unknown man aboard, "tall and thin, and ghastly pale.".

  25. Bill Skarsgård's New Horror Movie Can Redeem The Monster Of A 2023 Bomb

    Bill Skarsgård will play the villainous Count Orlok in Nosferatu, and his pale, long-fingered vampire comes far closer to the creature depicted in Demeter than Bela Lugosi's traditional Eastern European nobleman from 1933. While the new movie's story will not compare entirely to Demeter, it still looks like it will evoke similar story elements, such as Orlok's stalking of his prey (Lily Rose ...

  26. Official Discussion

    A crew sailing from Carpathia to England find that they are carrying very dangerous cargo. Director: André Øvredal. Writers: Bragi F. Schut, Zak Olkewicz, Bram Stoker (based on a novel by) Cast: Corey Hawkins as Clemens. Aisling Franciosi as Anna. Liam Cunningham as Captain Elliot.

  27. Max: 'The Last Voyage of Demeter' is Top 5 worldwide

    'The Last Voyage of Demeter,' a period horror film to fans of the genre. Starring Corey Hawkins, Liam Cunningham, Aisling Franciosi, David Dastmalchian, Woody Norman and Javier Botet as Dracula, the film is set in 1897 and follows the crew of the merchant ship named Demeter as they sail from Transylvania to London, while Dracula is stalking ...

  28. Piratemoviestore

    0 likes, 0 comments - piratemoviestore on September 14, 2023: "New Movie 2023: . Name: The Last Voyage Of The Demeter. . Genre: Fantasy / Horror. . Rate: 6.4/10 ...

  29. The Last Voyage of The Demeter

    Dracula has been feeding. Check out this creep clip from The Last Voyage of The Demeter, an upcoming movie starring Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, Straight O...