Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nosferatu (1922)

Directed by F.W. Murnau.
1922. Not Rated, 81 minutes.
Max Schrek
Gustav von Wangenheim
Greta Schroder
Alexander Granach
Georg H. Schnell
Ruth Landshoff

Real-estate agent Thomas Harker (Wangenheim) is summonsed to Transylvania to bring back Count Orlock (Schrek), a potential customer. Once there, strange things occur every evening after dark. Harker then discovers that his host is a vampire. Loosely based on Bram Stoker’s legendary Dracula novel. It’s the first vampire movie ever made and generally credited with being the first horror movie as well. It’s still an intriguing watch but lacks the technical pop and sizzle to hold any real tension for most modern audiences. Still, for the time the movie was made, the makeup job on our vampire is phenomenal. The story still moves along nicely but the end seems a tad too easy. Fans of vampire movies should probably take a look if for no other reason than to see where many of the tenets of the genre started. You can also see some that have fallen by the wayside for being too impractical. For instance, Nosferatu has to carry mounds of dirt, filling a number of coffins, everywhere he goes because he has to sleep in the same grounds he was originally buried in to preserve his power. This is good stuff for us wannabe film buffs but I’ll admit throwing on a 86 year old silent movie isn’t generally a crowd pleaser. For that reason, I won’t give it a score. It’s from the infancy of movie-making and was made for viewers equally new to motion pictures.

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