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Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)

Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire) (1922)



Average Rating: 8.9/10
Reviews Counted: 61
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 2

One of the silent era's most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu's eerie, gothic feel -- and a chilling performance from Max Shrek as the vampire -- set the template for the horror films that followed.


Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

One of the silent era's most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu's eerie, gothic feel -- and a chilling performance from Max Shrek as the vampire -- set the template for the horror films that followed.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 46,359

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Movie Info

F. W. Murnau's landmark vampire film Nosferatu isn't merely a variation on Bram Stoker's Dracula: it's a direct steal, so much so that Stoker's widow went to court, demanding in vain that the Murnau film be suppressed and destroyed. The character names have been changed to protect the guilty (in the original German prints, at least), but devotees of Stoker will have little trouble recognizing their Dracula counterparts. The film begins in the Carpathian mountains, where real estate agent Hutter

Oct 22, 1997

Film Arts Guild

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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (2) | DVD (29)

It is the sort of thing one could watch at midnight without its having much effect upon one's slumbering hours.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Never mind that much of the story of this first important screen version of the Dracula legend seems corny and dated, for what counts is its atmosphere and its images, which are timeless in their power.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Less frightening than haunting, Murnau's film conjures a persistent atmosphere of dread and decay, thanks in part to Max Schreck's immortal performance as Orlok.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not just a great horror movie. It's a poem of horror, a symphony of dread, a film so rapt, mysterious and weirdly lovely it haunts the mind long after it's over.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The metaphysical style is most vividly rendered by Murnau's obsessive use of point-of-view shots, which force a viewer to follow the characters into the abyss of their terrifying visions.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Murnau proved his directorial artistry in Sunrise for Fox about three years earlier, but in this picture he's a master artisan demonstrating not only a knowledge of the subtler side of directing but in photography.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nosferatu remains the best vampire movie of all time. It possesses a strain of sheer dread not captured by any subsequent bloodsucker film.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Whatever your opinion regarding intellectual property, I'm sure you'll agree we're fortunate that the movie survived, even in its various contested and truncated forms.

December 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The movie's best effect is its star...He looks every bit like an actual demonic wild-thing, retrieved from deep within the German wilderness and trotted out to perform for Murnau's camera.

November 19, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

Still one of the scariest, most unnerving films ever made.

November 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

There is pure expressionist inspiration in Murnau's juxtaposition of the malign wolves and the terrified old women: a poetry of fear.

October 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

Count Orlock, played by the hideous Max Schreck, creeps through Murnau's archetypal silent imagery with a mesmerising authority that retains a surprising amount of tension.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Nosferatu is an important piece of cinema history, featuring innovative direction, remarkable make-up and a genuinely chilling atmosphere.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

'Nosferatu' is worthwhile on two counts: mise-en-scène and the actor who is the title (and sole) vampire.

March 10, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Most likely the first horror film to express something beyond simple chills and thrills.

July 13, 2009 Full Review Source:

Contains some truly iconic moments, but too much of it, i.e. any scene without Orlock, is less than stellar.

March 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

His body is twisted and perverted, gnarling in on itself and constantly invading the personal space of the people around him.

February 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

A landmark motion picture.

October 9, 2008 Full Review Source:

Still quite eerie

March 2, 2008

Watching Nosferatu is like standing in the same room as death itself.

November 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)

June 21, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The earliest (unauthorized) adaptation of Dracula relocates the action to Germany in the late 1800s. Mixing imagery of disease and sex, F.W. Murnau's horror classic is helped immensely by the presence of the mysterious Max Schreck, whose rat-faced Count Orlock looks totally inhuman and remains arguably the scariest vampire ever depicted onscreen.
November 25, 2013
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Ladies and gentlemen: the first vampire film. It's an unofficial adaptation of Dracula, to boot. No, it's not really scary, but it's definitely creepy and eerie. Atmosphere is key here. The film is great at creating and maintaining an unsettling mood and environment. Music is key too. However, the version I saw had a modern soundtrack, including surf music. At times this really clashed with the actions on screen, lessening the impact and making things seem a little silly. The music itself was good, just sometimes out of place. When it fits perfectly though- things were amazing. This movie may be old, but it kicked off what is basically one of the most pervasive, popular, and continually evolving subgenres of film. Hats off to German cinema and F.W. Murnau.
October 28, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu has the distinction of being one of the first horror films. Based on Dracula, Murnau's film only changes the names of the characters. The film is quite impressive considering that it was made in 1922. The film has its flaws, but you have to understand that this film was made over 90 years ago, in the early years of cinema. What stands out about this film is that it relies on atmosphere to tell its story. Even if the film is silent, you can clearly make out what's going on. This is one of the defining pictures of the horror genre, and its influence still resonates to this day. Max Schreck is a memorable creature of the night and he displays that in his performance as Count Orlok. For the time period, Nosferatu is a stunning achievement in film, and is one of the best in the vampire genre. Horror fans that haven't seen this film, ought to, it's a milestone in horror cinema, one of the first of many classics to come. Nosferatu is a standout picture that still retains its elements of scary atmosphere to capture your attention and entertain from beginning to end. This movie set the standards for many other films to follow and it's a film that is a necessity to view for genre fans. There are some effective camera tricks to really elevate the film's storyline and since this was a 1922 production, it's a well made picture. Even the most critical viewer of the movie can't deny its impact and influence on the genre. Murnau was a pioneer in horror cinema and Nosferatu is a brilliant and effective picture that has stood the test of time.
September 12, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)

    1. Graf Orlok Nosferatu: Your precious blood!
    – Submitted by Alex K (22 months ago)
    1. Graf Orlok Nosferatu: Is this your wife? What a lovely throat.
    – Submitted by Alex K (22 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (DE)
  • Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horrors (UK)
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