"the Original silent horror classic"
"expressionistic silent movie masterpiece"
On the DVD: This two-disc set gives you the choice of watching
Nosferatu in either a sepia-tinted version or the original black
& white as well as other great extras.
Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror - Directed by
"Nosferatu ... the name alone can chill the blood!". F.W.
Murnau's Nosferatu, released in 1922, was the first (albeit
unofficial) screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Nearly 80
years on, it remains among the most potent and disturbing horror movies ever made. The sight of Max Schreck's hollow-eyed, cadaverous vampire
rising creakily from his coffin still has the ability to chill the blood.
Nor has the film dated. Murnau's elision of sex and disease lends it a
surprisingly contemporary resonance. The director and his screenwriter
Henrik Gaalen are true to the source material, but where most subsequent
screen Draculas (whether Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Frank Langella or
Gary Oldman) were portrayed as cultured and aristocratic, Nosferatu is
verminous and evil.
The film's full title - Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror -
reveals something of Murnau's
intentions. Supremely stylised, it differs from Robert Wiene's The
Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919) or Ernst Lubitsch's movies of the period
in that it was not shot entirely in the studio. Murnau went out on
location in his native Westphalia. As a counterpoint to the nightmarish
world inhabited by Nosferatu, he used imagery of hills, clouds, trees and
mountains (it is, after all, sunlight that destroys the vampire). It's not
hard to spot the similarity between the gangsters in film noir
hugging doorways or creeping up staircases with the image of Schreck's
diabolic Nosferatu, bathed in shadow, sidling his way toward a new victim.
Heavy chiaroscuro, oblique camera angles and jarring close-ups--the
devices that crank up the tension in Val Lewton horror movies and edgy,
urban thrillers such as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always
Rings Twice--were all to be found first in Murnau's chilling
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