Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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May 5, 2018
Noseferatu the Symphony of Horror is an influential classic that is full of slick creativity with the trend of German Expressionism. Max Schreck's performance is great even now, he is creepy yet animalistic. The rest of the cast is overtop, but it is from the 1920s. The film has iconic shots that still resonate to this day.
April 28, 2018
wow some great shit here. creepy as hell in places, goofy in others (but only due to the time it was filmed) Important piece of horror cinema history.
February 12, 2018
This is one the scariest movie ever. IT has great acing. it also a great story line.
½ January 15, 2018
The portrayal of orlok (dracula) is eerily creepy
January 15, 2018
Another lost flixster rating. Fantastic and Eerie. 1001 movies to see before you die.
½ December 19, 2017
Puntaje Original: 5.0

Nada terrorífico, lo único que puede causar es desesperación por que se acabe de una vez la película.
November 18, 2017
Classic Absolute without more.
October 30, 2017
Nosferatu was perhaps cinema's first vampire film, and probably its best. The vampire looks like a monster, not a cheap Halloween costume. While you will never jump out of your seat in fright, or find your blood pressure much elevated by the end, the image of Max Schreck's dead stare will stick in your memory, and you might find yourself looking apprehensively in the shadows at night when you get up to use the bathroom. The idea that evil can fester and grow in the shadows is a more haunting and realistic takeaway than most horror films have.

The only criticism I have of the film is the inter-titles are repetitive and too long, which slows down the narrative. Identical inter-titles are shown only minutes apart, and left on the screen long enough to read carefully, reread to make sure you understood it, leave you waiting to return to the action, check Facebook, like a few status updates, reply to a few text messages, read half a Wikipedia article, then return to the film. I'm not sure if this was in Murnau's version, or a fault of restorations. Anyway, it was a visionary film for its time, and hasn't been topped by the subgenre since.
October 29, 2017
Nonsense is the claim that this movie cannot scare! Superb Tomb, grim mood is compounded by the lack of dialogue and black and white photos. Poetry of terror in its pure form! Max Shreck plays one of the most faithful to the original literary, as Dracula and thanks to its excellent auditioning and arouses horror make-up is one of the most horrible character in the horror flick, right next to Jack Torrance, Angela Baker and the demon Pazuzu! The mood of the Castle Count Orloka is even more sultry and dingy than in the initial stage, "Dracula" with Béla Lugosi. The presentation of the rules governing the transfer of German Expressionism from the Studio in the open air, in contrast to the "the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" in its entirety shot at the atelier. The movie I saw more than 20 times and I watch still probably twice as much. Top-notch masterpieces of horror cinema!
½ October 27, 2017
A slow burn but a silent era masterpiece. I'm glad that film reels still exist now that we can see this horror classic the way we would've seen it in theaters long ago. Max Shreck, whose name is synonymous with the title, brings a haunting performance as Count Orlok. He is guided by the gothic sets, ethereal direction, and expressive movement of the camera. From here, we can see the influence many horror films - especially vampire films - it has birthed.
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2017
Did I kill one of your people, Murnau? I can't remember.
October 20, 2017
Schreck's performance is perhaps more terrifying than the plot itself. Legendary.
October 15, 2017
The first cinematic portrayal of vampires as we know them, this early horror film, while not without its timely stumbles, succeeds with eery atmospheric effects and a fiendishly satisfying performance by Max Schreck.
October 9, 2017
Best 1st of the classic monsters even Coppola can't remake but he did a good job the original is far more creepy
September 4, 2017
Honestly it's a great movie. For something so old it's still enjoyable from a great soundtrack to (hilariously) over the top acting. The written bits such as the opening about the deathbird or the book is pretty powerful.
½ September 3, 2017
The beginning of horror! You have to respect it! Now the film itself is basically Dracula told in a deferent way, and it works! Nosferatu is creepy at times. When nosferatu was walking towards Gustav with his blank stare is really creepy!!! Also this movie has the classic shadow of nosferatu walking up the stairs. So if your a movie fan this one is a must watch.
September 3, 2017
Horror movies ground zero, I know Caligari came first, but nothing beats an old horror character.
One of the best silent movies I have ever seen, the film have an erie mood with a painting kind of impression, making the horror experience even better.
September 1, 2017
To watch F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" (1922) is to seethe vampire movie before it had really seen itself. Here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in clichés, jokes, TV skits, cartoons and more than 30 other films. The film is in awe of its material. It seems to really believe in vampires.

Max Schreck, who plays the vampire, avoids most of the theatrical touches that would distract from all the later performances, from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee to Frank Langella to Gary Oldman. The vampire should come across not like a flamboyant actor but like a man suffering from a dread curse. Schreck plays the count more like an animal than a human being; the art direction by Murnau's collaborator, Albin Grau, gives him bat ears, clawlike nails and fangs that are in the middle of his mouth like a rodent?s, instead of on the sides like on a Halloween mask.

Murnau's silent film was based on the Bram Stoker novel, but the title and character names were changed because Stoker's widow charged, not unreasonably, that her husband's estate was being ripped off. Ironically, in the long run Murnau was the making of Stoker, because ?Nosferatu? inspired dozens of other Dracula films, none of them as artistic or unforgettable, although Werner Herzog's 1979 version with Klaus Kinski comes closest.

?Nosferatu? is a better title, anyway, than ?Dracula.? Say ?Dracula? and you smile. Say ?Nosferatu? and you've eaten a lemon. Murnau's story begins in Bremen, Germany. Knock (Alexander Granach), a simian little real estate agent, assigns his employee Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to visit the remote castle of Count Orlok, who wishes to buy a house in town--"a deserted one." A clue to the story can be found in Orlok's letter, which we see over Knock's shoulder. It is written in occult symbols; since Knock can read it, we should not be surprised later when he calls Orlok ?Master.?

During Hutter's trip to Orlok's lair in the Carpathian Mountains, Murnau's images foretell doom. In an inn, all of the customers fall silent when Hutter mentions Orlok's name. Outside, horses bolt and run, and a hyena snarls before slinking away. At Hutter's bedside, he finds a book that explains vampire lore: They must sleep, he learns, in earth from the graveyards of the Black Death.

Hutter's hired coach refuses to take him onto Orlok's estate. The count sends his own coach, which travels in fast-motion, as does his servant, who scurries like a rat. Hutter is still laughing at warnings of vampirism, but his laugh fades at dinner, when he cuts himself with a breadknife and the count seems unhealthily interested in ?Blood--your beautiful blood!?

Two of the key sequences in the film now follow; both are montages in which simultaneous events are intercut. That's a routine technique today, but Murnau is credited with helping to introduce the montage, and here we see Orlok advancing on Hutter while, in Bremen, his wife, Ellen, sleepwalks and cries out a warning that causes the vampire to turn away. (He advances and retreats through an archway shaped to frame his bat-like head.) Later, after Hutter realizes his danger, he escapes from the castle and races back to Bremen by coach, while Orlok travels by sea, and Murnau intercuts the coach with shipboard events and Ellen restlessly waiting.

The shots on the ship are the ones everyone remembers. The cargo is a stack of coffins, all filled with earth (from the nourishing graveyards of the plague). Crew members sicken and die. A brave mate goes below with a hatchet to open a coffin, and rats tumble out. Then Count Orlok rises straight up, stiff and eerie, from one of the coffins, in a shot that was as frightening and famous in its time as the rotating head in ?The Exorcist.? The ship arrives in port with its crew dead, and the hatch opens by itself.

Murnau now inserts scenes with little direct connection to the story, except symbolically. One involves a scientist who gives a lecture on thevenus flytrap, ?the vampire of the vegetable kingdom.? Then Knock, in a jail cell, watches in closeup as a spider devours its prey. Why cannot man likewise be a vampire? Knock senses his Master has arrived, escapes, and scurries about the town with a coffin on his back. As fear of the plague spreads, ?the town was looking for a scapegoat,? the titles say, and Knock creeps about on rooftops and is stoned, while the street is filled with dark processions of the coffins of the newly dead.

Ellen Hutter learns that the only way to stop a vampire is for a good woman to distract him so that he stays out past the first cock's crow. Her sacrifice not only saves the city but also reminds us of the buried sexuality in the Dracula story. Bram Stoker wrote with ironclad 19th century Victorian values, inspiring no end of analysis from readers who wonder if the buried message of Dracula might be that unlicensed sex is dangerous to society. The Victorians feared venereal disease the way we fear AIDS, and vampirism may be a metaphor; the predator vampire lives without a mate, stalking his victims or seducing them with promises of bliss--like a rapist, or a pickup artist. The cure for vampirism is obviously not a stake through the heart, but nuclear families and bourgeois values.

Is Murnau's ?Nosferatu? scary in the modern sense? Not for me. I admire it more for its artistry and ideas, its atmosphere and images, than for its ability to manipulate my emotions like a skillful modern horror film. It knows none of the later tricks of the trade, like sudden threats that pop in from the side of the screen. But ?Nosferatu? remains effective: It doesn?t scare us, but it haunts us. It shows not that vampires can jump out of shadows, but that evil can grow there, nourished on death.

In a sense, Murnau's film is about all of the things we worry about at 3 in the morning--cancer, war, disease, madness. It suggests these dark fears in the very style of its visuals. Much of the film is shot in shadow. The corners of the screen are used more than is ordinary; characters lurk or cower there, and it's a rule of composition that tension is created when the subject of a shot is removed from the center of the frame. Murnau's special effects add to the disquieting atmosphere: the fast motion of Orlok's servant, the disappearance of the phantom coach, the manifestation of the count out of thin air, the use of a photographic negative to give us white trees against a black sky.

Murnau (1888-1931) made 22 films but is known mostly for three masterpieces: ?Nosferatu?; ?The Last Laugh? (1924), with Emil Jannings as a hotel doorman devastated by the loss of his job, and ?Sunrise? (1927), which won Janet Gaynor an Oscar for her work as a woman whose husband considers murdering her. The worldwide success of ?Nosferatu? and ?The Last Laugh? won Murnau a Hollywood contract with Fox, and he moved to America in 1926. His last film was ?Tabu? (1931); he was killed in a car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway just before its premiere, his promising career cut short at 43.

If he had lived, the rest of his career would have been spent making sound films. He probably would have made some great ones. But with a silent like ?The Last Laugh,? he famously did not require a single title card to tell his story. And ?Nosferatu? is more effective for being silent. It is commonplace to say that silent films are more ?dreamlike,? but what does that mean? In ?Nosferatu,? it means that the characters are confronted with alarming images and denied the freedom to talk them away. There is no repartee in nightmares. Human speech dissipates the shadows and makes a room seem normal. Those things that live only at night do not need to talk, for their victims are asleep, waiting.
½ August 31, 2017
There are visual spooks and a very nice portrayal of the titular monster, with enough narrative qualities to prove its influence, but it couldn't help but be another unfortunate victim under the teleological perspective that erases the originally intended effects. (B)

(Full review TBD)
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