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

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Super Reviewer
December 12, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2010
The truly original vampire film, "Nosferatu" is a black and white direct copied adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula". At its release it had the exact same characters and plot as the original book but had changed the names of all involved. The story is the same: a clod goes off to a mountainous small town and finds the townspeople frightened out of their wits by the vampyr aloft in the castle in the hills. The real estate agent and his sickly palored wife are victims of Count Orlok, portrayed by Max Schreck. The fame that still surrounds this film has nothing to do with its stark German Expressionist surroundings and tone or the fact that Bram Stoker's widow sued over copyright infringement. Much more prevalent to its lasting iconoclastic remembrances, is that fright inducing face. Max Shreck was already quite a sight with his pointed ears and long face, and with the use of face makeup he was transformed into a hideously fanged creature, without the charm and sophistication of the many descendants of Bram Stoker's tale. Much more of a creature feature than later adaptations, Count Orlok comes off less than human. The real estate agent who comes to call on what he believes is a rich man in a small town meets a chalky white monster who preys on his wife in her dreams. The shadow of the vampire coming up the stairs, the slow way the villain is revealed, face forward, stark against a background of black, spider webs covering every square inch of the darkly lit manor, was spine chilling. Much like Bela Lugosi in the much more popular and long staying "Dracula", Max Schreck's performance transcends the film itself. It is his amazing presence in the film that makes it so creepy and yet irresistibly sadistic. Seriously one of the creepiest films of all time, and making it silent made it all the better. The music was sometimes off-putting, and the flow of events was stilted, but it was definitely one of the best vampire films of all time. It not only catches the charisma of a supernatural force but also the deep seeded terror invoked in all of their victims. A much watch for horror fans or those who want to see a good German Expressionist film.
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2007
No vampire film exists w/o this one, the granddaddy of them all. I wish somebody could up the ante on this, but nobody has ,,, 90 years (count 'em!) later. Just try to imagine that for a minute. It'll seem slow to the MTV quick cut school of editing and shaky cam crowd, starched and stodgy, sure, but there has been no vampire film made since that doesn't lift something outta this film. There's one beaut of a bit where the Count carries his own casket through the middle of town. Interestingly enough (and unrelatedly), Orlok as the not-so-mysterious Count seems to resemble the many racist Jewish caricatures of the late 1800's.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2011
Images from this film will be forever burned into my mind.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
You know, I do review films in my spare time because I love to express my love for cinema, but this if a film that I have no idea why I am even bothering to review. The reason why is because this film has been around for almost ninety years, still hailed as a masterpiece of German Silent films, and in terms of style and atmosphere considered one of the best ever made. But, seeing as how I do have a strong love for this film, I guess I must attempt to review it.
If you are a fan of vampire mythology, then there is no excuse as to why you can not see Nosferatu. Seeing as how this film is in public domain, it is beyond easy to get a hold of. But due to it being in public domain, it is difficult to find good prints around. But you don't really need a good print to be able to feel the sheer terror of Max Shrek as the immortal Nosferatu (a performance that will be with him for another hundred years after his death). When I first came unto this film, I was just starting to develop a love for silent films and this film is one of the best introductions one can have for that genre.
My reaction to this film was just about the same as anyone who first sees this film with a clear mind: it is like living through a nightmare. Now, in the nineteen twenties, the German film industry perfected the art of expression cinema (basically using obscure designs and scenery to create a certain atmosphere) so when it came time for the first adaptation of Dracula to be made, it is only natural that the Germans would create the most effective and the one that would set the laws of vampire mythology for years to come.
There is not much one can say about this film other then the iconic performance of Max Shrek. Looking at him now, he is still a powerful image of a vampire and how one should act and be. From his tall stature to his giant, white eyes to even the teeth that barley fit in his mouth, Shrek creates a vampire that still puts modern vampires to shame in the flick of an eye. But he also keeps the character mysterious which is part of the greatness of this film.
One thing that makes this film different from all the future adaptations of Dracula to even vampire films in general is that you don't know the story behind the vampire. He is always a mystery and due to us not knowing about him, we take into account that he is just a creature that is pure evil and is a force to be reckoned with.
It is hard to imagine how film history would of changed had it not been for this monumental film that inspired horror and made it into what it is. Now, is this film worth watching? Yes if you can handle a silent film. If you can't, then I recommend you watch the film Shadow Of The Vampire.
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2011
Nosferatu is definitely an eerie film and a good adaption of the book, but since I'm not a huge fan of silent films it's not really for me. It's a classic and Max Schreck is good and looks great as Count Orlok. The poor picture quality at times does make the movie better. If your a fan of silent movies, then this would be for you.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2011
It's 90 years old but it still has that eerie and creepy feel to it all. Max Schrek makes for one hell of a scary vampire, probably the most chilling vampire in movie history. It's very much a film of its own era and it's odd and outdated methods only add to its atmosphere. It's an essential watch for horror buffs, but it is a slow one.
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2011
Max Schreck's portrayal of Nosferatu is still terrifying today nearly 90 years later. Warner Herzog's remake is definitely worth watching if you liked this, although, as much as I love Klaus Kinski, you can't beat Max Schreck! The epitome of creepy!
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2007
this great horror film is still a bit frightening nearly 90 years after its release. the poor picture quality adds to the terror making this a film timely made, and the story and running time are perfect for a silent film. maybe the most eerie film ever, this is a classic that must be seen.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2010
I always found Count Orlok to be significantly creepy and the mood of the picture to be nicely tuned, but the story is just so bland- even by the standards of 1922. One can certainly see how "Nosferatu" remains a classic, but for me, it dosen't rank particularly highly.
Super Reviewer
½ September 9, 2010
I love early film. Silents are always a bit of a patience tester, but I was impressed with quite a few of the visuals. Very creepy. However Nosferatu running around in daylight, holding a coffin full of dirt... not as impressive. Try humorous. However, if you love horror or vampires it is an absolute must!
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2010
The very first vampire on film! You can't miss it if you're a vampire fan like me. Nosferatu is actually still creepy after all these years. Check it out!
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2010
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2010
i liked it. it was probably pretty high tech for its time. as far as vampire movies go i don't like it as much a Bram Stoker's Dracula or The Lost Boys.
Super Reviewer
½ December 27, 2006
I tried, over and over, but this just didn't capture my attention at all...
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2007
This dark brooding silent classic has lost some of its teeth over the years, but it still takes a bite out of the genre.
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