Horror Movie Review – Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter (also known as The Last Voyage of the Demeter) is a horror film that was directed by André Øvredal, releasing in 2023. It is an adaptation of “The Captain’s Log”, a chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Its plot follows the doomed crew of the merchant ship Demeter led by Captain Elliot who attempt to survive the treacherous ocean voyage from Transylvania to London while being stalked by a legendary vampire known as Dracula.

The merchant ship Demeter washes ashore in England. Among the wreckage found by the police is a captain’s log. Four weeks earlier, the Demeter makes port in Bulgaria, picking up cargo for transportation to London. The shipment? Multiple large wooden crates. The locals from Romania refuse to help load it because they wish to leave the area before sunset, wishing the crew good luck.

Clemens, a doctor, overhears that the ship is looking for crew members. He attempts to convince the crew that he would be a valuable crew member because of his medical skills and education in astronomy but is initially rejected by first mate Wojchek. Soon after, he saves the captain’s grandson, Toby, from being crushed by one of the loose crates. The ship’s captain, Elliott, is impressed and invites Clemens to join the crew, replacing a new hire that left when he saw the dragon emblem on the crates.

One of the crates falls and breaks open in the cargo hold. Clemens investigates and finds a woman buried in dirt inside. She is barely alive, and he performs blood transfusions on her to treat a seeming infection.

The next night, all the animals aboard the ship are killed, including the ship’s dog. The crew, fearing a rabies outbreak, throws them all overboard. Anna, the secret stowaway, wakes up and warns them about a monster from Transylvania, a creature that feeds on the blood of humans. In her town they called it Dracula, to whom she was given as a slave of blood so that the monster would leave them alone. She claims that Dracula is already aboard the ship and looking to feed, which is when she reveals several bites from the beast on her body.

The crew of the Demeter are paranoid and confused about the unfolding events. They are alone in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to run. Their only safety comes during daylight hours. When the sun goes down, they are prey to a bloodthirsty, relentless monster.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is ok; it’s as simple as that really. It’s a tough sell because the tale is well known and let’s be honest, anyone else sick of Dracula? It’s especially bad when you already know before going in how things end up. As I mentioned above, this was a chapter in the novel. Can that really be stretched out into a full length film? We all know that this voyage isn’t particularly important in the tale of Dracula as a whole; it’s a small stepping stone at best. You might be someone who knows nothing about Dracula so let me judge it from that perspective as well.

Firstly, the acting is solid even if the characters are pretty barebones. Nobody is developed and it fails to effectively establish the sort of comradery required. It desperately needs a few more scenes showing the characters bonding, just something to make you feel an emotion when they get their throats ripped out.Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I was pleasantly surprised by the gruesome nature of the gore in the film. It looks good and there’s a delightful realism to it that will please horror fans. Dracula looks good but they could have shown the creature a bit less. The more you see, the less scary it gets. However, I did like the subtle nature in which he slowly regenerates after consuming each new victim. We get a few nice visual moments; the film is shot well in general.

The epic finale felt anything but epic due to the stupidity of the characters. At this point in the story, they are well aware that sunlight kills or at least hurts these monsters. Why not just sail away on a lifeboat and set fire to the ship? Dracula could only fly out from wherever he’s hiding right into direct sunlight, it’s illogical. They wait until night time to take on Dracula, it’s ludicrous. I thought they could have done a lot more than they do. At one point they discover what appears to be the Earth that the beast slumbers in and do nothing about it.

There’s a hilarious attempt at sequel bait that just confused the hell out of me. I thought this was supposed to be an accurate adaption. You may as well have just called it something else entirely if you’re just planning to rewrite the story.

Overall, I reiterate what I wrote above; The Last Voyage of the Demeter is ok. It suffers from a lack of freshness with something that feels oh so overdone at this point in time. It’s cliché in places and extremely predictable as the ending of this tale is already known. The characters are poorly done as well. However, there are some positives which help make it not feel like a complete waste of time.


  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

The Last Voyage of the Demeter
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