April 13, 2010

Nosferatu (1922)

They definitely don't make films like this anymore. This is, without a doubt, a faded and haunting masterpiece of silent cinema.

What sets 'Nosferatu' aside from many of the other films of the time was that most of the film was shot on actual locations around Eastern Europe, and the fact that through out production they hardly used any studio sets. Though, what makes this film so haunting is the sense of realism and the expressionism, which is quite evident in the interiors of Orlok's Castle that gives the film quite the Hypnotically visual power.

If there is anyone out there who has the dream to become a filmmaker, or they're currently a film student, then this is one film you must own if you don't already... although it's quite hard to find any surviving copies. Give the internet a look, as I'm sure you can find it somewhere.

No vampire film before, or since then, has been either as Artful or disturbing as this. Yes, it's less overtly "expressionistic" than other German films of the day, but no less, it's very visually impressive. Max Schreck (Count Orlok) is truly the vilest villain in the history of cinema. His mannerisms and overall look is astounding. The scene where he rises suddenly erect from his coffin aboard ship is one that horror directors everywhere should study very carefully.

It is one of the few silent movies with any significant following today. But... It deserves a following. The film is a one hell of a suspense piece. Still, it is paced perfectly so that it feels tense in the right places, but never drags on without something happening, turning it into a snooze fest. It is a bit of a cult film, but this does not hinder it from actually being good.

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