Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre)


Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre) (1979)


Critic Consensus: Stunning visuals from Werner Herzog and an intense portrayal of the famed bloodsucker from Klaus Kinski make this remake of Nosferatu a horror classic in its own right.


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Movie Info

For Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 silent horror-fest Nosferatu, star Klaus Kinski adopts the same makeup style used by Murnau's leading man Max Schreck. Yet in the Herzog version, the crucial difference is that Nosferatu becomes more and more decayed and desiccated as the film progresses. Essentially a retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Nosferatu the Vampyre traces the blood-sucking progress of the count as he takes over a small German village, then attempts to spread his influence and activities to the rest of the world. All that prevents Dracula from continuing his demonic practices is the self-sacrifice of Lucy Harker, played by Isabelle Adjani. Director Werner Herzog used the story to parallel the rise of Nazism. The film was lensed in the Dutch towns of Delft and Scheiberg. Nosferatu the Vampyre was filmed in both an English and a German-speaking version; the latter runs 11 minutes longer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre)

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (8)

To say of someone that they were born to play a vampire is a strange compliment, but if you will compare the two versions of Nosferatu you might agree with me that only Kinski could have equaled or rivaled Max Schreck's performance.

Nov 24, 2011 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

This is a pinnacle of horror cinema: atmospheric, rhapsodic and -- especially in the slow-burn confrontations between Lucy and her otherworldly inamorato -- achingly transcendent.

Nov 17, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Between the hordes of stowaway rats that accompany Dracula's arrival, and a town-plaza dance of folly by doomed survivors (a Herzog addition), it's like being present at the birth of a medieval legend.

Oct 29, 2008 | Full Review…

The acting is too eccentric and the narrative drive too weak to satisfy fans of the genre, but Herzog's admirers will find much in the film's animistic landscapes and clusters of visionary imagery.

Sep 21, 2007 | Full Review…

There's a grey, plodding quality to the film which sidesteps oppressive, doom-laden inevitability and goes straight to slightly dull.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

It's funny without being silly, eerie without being foolish and uncommonly beautiful in a way that has nothing to do with mere prettiness.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre)

With a cold and solemn approach, Herzog makes an entrancing remake of Murnau's classic that is always beautiful to look at - much like a painting in motion - even though it is not scary, intense or even haunting, and the impression is that it was all about how to make it, not why.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Count Dracula: Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death. Nosferatu The Vampyre is my favorite of the Dracula adaptations I've seen thus far in my life. I've only seen a few of Herzog's non-documentary films and this is my favorite of the three. The other two being Bad Lieutenant and My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?. This has that distinct Herzog feel to it and I don't believe there was a better director to remake F.W. Murnau's silent classic, and there also wasn't anyone who could have portrayed Count Dracula as perfectly and terrifyingly as Klaus Kinski. This is one of the few horror films I've seen that I would describe as beautiful and it's no wonder coming from Herzog. The imagery and settings are absolutely gorgeous and atmospheric. Werner Herzog's Nosferatu should not be missed by any film or horror buff. This is an absolute classic and up there for one of the best vampire movies ever. I loved every second of it.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

four stars...

MisterYoda ?
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer


This film holds a special place in my heart because it was my first exposure to Werner Herzog and his films. I loved it when I first saw it, and that was just on a general level. Now that I am actually a fan of Herzog, and know things about him I can appreciate this even more. But, looking at it from just my original perspective, this is a very impressive, spellbinding, and masterful horror film. It's a remake of the Murnau classic, and it takes even more liberties with the original source material than Murnau did, but this is nevertheless a wonderful vampire movie. It's hands down one of the top 5 creepiest and unnerving films I've ever seen. The atmosphere, mood, and tone are hauntingly unnerving, and I've never been so filled with dread during an opening credits sequence like I am with this one. Kinski as Dracula is one of the scariest things ever. He's ugly, creepy, and, despite being more restrained than usual, is quite memorable as a chilling bloodsucker. Isabelle Adjani is the epitome of seductive, pale, gothic beauties, and she

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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