Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is Basically Alien, Just Set in the 1800's on a Ship

Nothing wrong with wanting to pay tribute to the greats.

By Josh Weiss
(from left) Nosferatu (Javier Botet) and Clemens (Corey Hawkins) in The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)

When Steven Spielberg's company is producing your movie, you've basically got a blank check to ape the master.

Recently sitting down with Universal Pictures to discuss The Last Voyage of the Demeter (in theaters everywhere Aug. 11), director André Øvredal explained how Spielberg's treatment of horrific material inspired the Dracula project.

How Steven Spielberg and David Fincher Inspired The Last Voyage of the Demeter

"Even in the most suspenseful moments, they have such warmth," said the filmmaker behind such spine-tingling titles as The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. "I think the humanity always comes through, regardless of the spectacle. And I think that’s been an influence."

Øvredal also cited David Fincher's "stark, cold, very clean visual style" as a major source of inspiration. "I love the classical use of camera, the classical use of light and the whole nine yards," he added.

RELATED: The Last Voyage of the Demeter Images and Featurette Reveal "Scariest Depiction of Dracula Ever"

Ridley Scott's Alien Was The Rubric For The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Based on a single chapter in Bram Stoker's seminal vampire novel, The Last Voyage of the Demeter follows the crew and passengers of a humble merchant vessel sailing from Transylvania to London on a routine cargo run...or so they think.

Skulking aboard the ship, picking off characters one by one, is a centuries-old monster desperate for fresh human blood to sustain its insatiable hunger. Of course, the limited and claustrophobic setting, paired with the inclusion of an unstoppable creature that only knows how to kill, harkens back to a Ridley Scott classic.

“It was really an Alien-style story set on the ocean in 1897, with Dracula instead of the alien monster,” Øvredal states in the official production notes. "I was captivated by all the characters onboard. They felt like a real crew of people who are there to do their job, and the mystery deepened as the story unfolded. I really loved the contained nature of the film, where we’re out at sea on the ship, and they’re facing this enemy but they have no comprehension of what it is."

"Drawing inspiration from films like Alien, we used the concept of a confined setting as our narrative capsule,” adds producer Mike Medavoy. "In fact, my prior involvement with Alien during my time at United Artists, when Walter Hill was associated with the original script, made the concept of being confined to a single location with no escape resonate with me. In the case of Demeter, we have a devil aboard a ship, being transported to London to embark on a new life. Similar to Alien, the heart of the story lies in the gripping events that transpire on that vessel."

The Last Voyage of the Demeter swoops into theaters next Friday — Aug 11. Click here to sink your fangs into some tickets!

Want to satisfy your craving for undead fare in the meantime? Renfield and Vampire Academy are now streaming on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY's Reginald the Vampire  is set to return later this year for a second season.