21 November 2014

Nosferatu (1922)
80 min.
Directed by F.W. Murnau.
With Max Schreck, Gustav von Waggenheim, Greta Schröder, Alexander Granach, Ruth Landshoff, John Gottowt, G.H. Schnell, Gustav Botz, Max Nemetz, Wolfgang Heinz.
Schreck mesmerizes in this early German silent horror classic from director Murnau (1921's The Haunted Castle).

Drawing heavily from Bram Stoker's original novel Dracula, the story follows vampire Orlok as he relocates to the German town of Bremen, bringing along not only a plague but also an unhealthy obsession with his real estate agent's lovely wife Ellen (Schröder).

But will she have the strength to ward off Orlok's menacing doom?

Fangy Schreck delivers a masterful portrayal of Orlok in this expressionistic setpiece.

Quite unlike Bela Lugosi's later depiction of Stoker's Count in Tod Browning's classic, Schreck is more preternatural demon here, a stunningly thin figure replete with bat ears and claw-like hands.

The shadowy shots of the undead lord are haunting and unforgettable, while the moody lighting and goth setpieces are terrific.

Also known as Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror.

German: Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens.

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