Few creatures in horror have the alluring yet terrifying mystique of the vampire, and no vampire has had the far-reaching influence of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Practically every vampire in today’s media is built off the back of Dracula, a seemingly perfect gentleman who is secretly a blood-sucking monster.
But the Dracula we’re seeing in The Last Voyage of the Demeter is a different creature altogether. Now that the movie’s January 27, 2023 release date was moved to August 11, 223, we’ll finally get a glimpse of what the dark count is like when there’s no need for him to play gallant host or dashing intellectual. No, in this movie, we get to see Dracula as his real self.
The best part is that The Last Voyage of the Demeter plays out like Alien (1979) at sea.
What is The Last Voyage of the Demeter about?
The upcoming movie The Last Voyage of the Demeter revolves around a doctor, a stowaway, a captain, and a first mate trapped on a ship with the monster that is Dracula. Incorporating the claustrophobia of Alien (1987) and the bones of a cabin slasher film, the movie is expected to be a breath of fresh air among the many done and dead Dracula movies.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter is an adaptation of the 7th chapter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In the novel, the Demeter appears mysteriously on the beach of Whitby in Yorkshire, England. The chapter begins on a sunny day with tourists having fun on the beach until an ominous storm blows the Demeter to shore. Unbeknownst to onlookers, Dracula has controlled the weather to force the ship aground. The investigating coast guard officers find a dead man with his wrists tied to the helm, several crates of dirt, and a black dog.
A closer investigation reveals the ship’s logs which reveal nothing aside from there being a terrifying “Him” on the ship. You’re left to imagine exactly what “Him” was and what he did, making the chapter one of Dracula‘s scariest…and most information scarce.
The just-enough-info approach is a common technique to create fear of the unknown in horror and get you to fill things in with your imagination. It just so happens to benefit The Last Voyage of the Demeter because there’s no way for even the most dedicated Dracula fan to know exactly what will happen in the movie and the lack of pre-conceptions gives its creators a blank slate with just enough foundations to work with.
Was the Demeter a real ship?
Stoker’s Dracula blurred the lines between fiction and reality. The novel is told in the form of diaries, letters, telegraphs, recording transcripts, newspapers, and documents. You get a sense that whatever is happening to the characters in the books is real or, at least, containing fragments of the truth.
The Demeter is one of the realest parts of the Dracula novel. In real life, the Demeter of Varna was the Dmitri of Narva, a ship that washed ashore on Whitby with little of its crew left alive. But the ship had odd cargo: a mysterious black dog and several crates of dirt. In Stoker’s mind, it seemed to line up with the myth of the vampire who needed to sleep in a casket filled with earth from its homeland.
And so the Dmitri became the Demeter. Among its passengers was Dracula.
Behind the scenes of The Last Voyage of the Demeter
Who’s involved in making The Last Voyage of the Demeter?
Norwegian director André Øvredal is taking the helm for The Last Voyage of the Demeter. The director is known for other horror movies such as The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2018), Umma (2022), and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019). Meanwhile, the script for The Last Voyage of the Demeter was written by Bragi F. Schut Stefan Ruzowitzky, and Zak Olkewicz
“It’s basically Alien but on a ship out in the ocean. You’re lost at sea, and the crew doesn’t know what the hell is haunting them on the ship.” Øvredal said in an interview with Den of Geek.
As for the casting of The Last Voyage of Demeter and their choice of race for characters, the director alludes to it simply by explaining, “It’s a crew on a ship traveling from one end of Europe to the other so there is a very broad sense of who can be on this ship. It’s a vivid crew of many nationalities, and we devised a group of people who felt natural for the time and place, and also some interesting characters who wouldn’t necessarily be obvious to have there.”
The film’s producers are Brad Fischer (Suspiria, 2018), Mark Medavoy (Black Swan), Arnold Messer (Shutter Island).
Who are the cast of The Last Voyage of the Demeter?
The known cast of The Last Voyage of the Demeter are as follows:
- Javier Botet as Dracula
- Corey Hawkins as Dr. Clemens
- Aisling Franciosi as Anna
- Liam Cunningham as the Captain
- David Dastmalchian as Wojchek, a first mate
Where was The Last Voyage of the Demeter shot?
How to watch The Last Voyage of the Demeter
No streaming announcements have been made for the Last Voyage of the Demeter, so if you want to see it, you’ll have to go to a cinema near you on August 11, 2023.