Shhhh, it's time for a silent film.
"Nosferatu! That name can chill the blood!"
As part of my Throwback Thursday's for #31DaysofHalloween, I decided to watch one of the most classic and influential horror films of all time- Nosferatu (1922). Nosferatu is the German expressionist horror adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and for a little history of this now iconic film, the Stoker estate did not green-light this film's adaptation of the story. In fact, the estate said, "No." But that didn't stop the creation of this film, and after its release and adoration, the Stoker estate sued the creators of the film, and each copy was meant to be destroyed. Of course, in natural film fashion, good art never truly dies, and this film has lived on and has been deemed a classic.
Nosferatu (1922) follows Thomas Hutter who is summoned by Count Orlok to his Transylvania home. There, he is meant to sell a new home to Count Orlok. Where the Count lives is actually named the Land of Phantoms, and if that is not enough to turn wanderers away, the stalking, pale man that lurks there surely is. As Hutter arrives to the estate, and as time progresses in the film, the Count slowly reveals his true evil, vampire nature to the man. Without revealing too much of the plot, the film is an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but there are a few changes made with names and the ending.
Max Schreck is absolutely haunting in this film. Without loud jump scares and not a single monstrous sound grumbled from him, he is able to capture and release a character that is sure to haunt your nightmares. The black around his bulging white eyes pierce through the black and white film. His dark, bushy eyebrows and his large fangs make him one of my favorite renditions of Dracula... I mean Count Orlok.
Silent films rely heavily on the score and the expressions and acting of the characters to convey a believable story. This film never has a dull moment, especially when it comes to its sharp, daunting music. The music fills the room you're in and surrounds you with these entrancing sounds that penetrate your mind and enhance your experience. This film feels like getting on an old roller coaster, one that shouldn't even be operating anymore, and as you're ricketting and rocking through the turns and drops, you and your friends are just laughing nervously with each other secretly wondering, "Is this how I'm going to die?"
If you want to know just how influential in pop culture this film is, before I had ever seen it, as a kid we all pretty much knew of a Nosferatu thanks to the iconic Spongebob episode- Graveyard Shift- about the hash slinging slasher. I never forgot that episode, for many reasons, but also because of the famous Who keeps flickering the lights scene.
Overall, this was a fun experience as part of my 31 nights of Halloween binge, and I recommend this film to all my horror lovers, my films lovers, my spooky friends, everyone. It's likely to be a film that sticks with you, and you might just find Nosferatu creeping in your doorway at night after watching it.
Jacindable Rating: ★★★★½
starring, Max Schreck, Greta Schroder, Gustav von Wangeheim, and more
written and directed by, F.W. Murnau, Henrik Galeen, based off Bram Stoker's Dracula