The Reel Review


The Demeter’s 1897 ocean voyage from Romania to England ends in disaster, when Transylvania’s legendary vampire Dracula emerges from his tomb in the ship’s cargo hold to feast on the ship’s crew. The supernatural horror/thriller is based on a pivotal chapter from Bram Stoker’s iconic 1897 novel, “Dracula.”

Corey Hawkins and Aisling Franciosi in The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The Last Voyage of the Demeter has all the makings of a great horror film – a cool premise, a claustrophobic, creaky old ship, a super creepy monster that channels some serious Nosferatu/Jeepers Creepers vibes, and a smorgasbord of crew members to keep him fed for his journey. Even the acting is okay, with Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, BlacKkKlansman) as the doctor who saves a convincing Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale) as the Romanian female stowaway who mysteriously appears one night in a heap of Transylvanian dirt spilled from a busted crate.

Javier Botet as Dracula in The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The problem, unfortunately, is a dull screenplay that has all the excitement of watching paint – or in this case, blood – dry. It is so predictable that you will have plenty of time to wonder why the ship’s crew didn’t just try to abandon ship during the day – or just dump their sun-dodging passenger and his cargo overboard. Add to that some hokey visual effects in the third act, and it makes what had the potential to be a terrifying tale just an okay one.


• Director André Øvredal (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) has called The Last Voyage of Demeter basically the horror/sci-fi classic Alien set in 1897.

• “The Captain’s Log,” is the chapter in “Dracula” which describes the Demeter’s ocean journey to England, where it turned up a charred and completely empty – no signs of crew or passengers.

Javier Botet (left) and as Mama in 2013’s Mama

• At nearly 6’9″ in height and 123 pounds, Javier Botet has used his genetic disorder Marfan Syndrome as a moneymaker, becoming the go-to actor to play frightening characters in such films as The Last Voyage of the Demeter, 2019’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, 2016’s The Conjuring 2 and 2013’s Mama.


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