Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.

AUDIENCE SCORE


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Movie Info

F W Murnau is making Nosferatu on location in Eastern Europe. The director is determined to make this the most authentic movie ever. To this end Murnau has employed a real vampire, Max Schreck. He explains Schreck's weird behavior by saying that he is a fastidious method actor. As payment Schreck has been promised drug addicted beauty Greta - Nosferatu's leading-lady. She is to be his at the end of filming. But it seems that Schreck cannot wait that long to taste the blood of the crew.

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Critic Reviews for Shadow of the Vampire

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (34)

The screenplay, by Steven Katz, suffers from arch, almost unspeakably theatrical dialogue, and, as Murnau, John Malkovich recites his lines as if monomania were synonymous with monotonic: He drains the drama of blood.

Sep 25, 2007 | Full Review…
Slate
Top Critic

Wholly absorbing and inspired in parts, this carefully crafted curio dares to suggest that Murnau made a Faustian pact with an actual vampire to play the title role in exchange for the neck of the film's leading lady at production's end.

Sep 25, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Intriguing, eccentric, sporadically entertaining tosh (but tosh all the same).

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof.

Sep 26, 2002

Out of such dizzying layers of (un)reality, some sublime films have emerged. Nosferatu was one of them, and this is not -- but, c'mon, credit it with the old college try, a pretty decent effort.

Mar 22, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

This stupid and demeaning fantasy about the shooting of F.W. Murnau's 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu is a piece of postmodernist kitsch whose only redeeming quality is an enjoyably over-the-top, eye-rolling performance by Willem Dafoe.

Feb 7, 2001 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shadow of the Vampire

½

Willem Dafoe and John Malkavich in a horror film that wonders aloud if true horror is actually working with "committed artists". Very nearly a classic, while certainly a homage to one of horror's earliest masterpieces, the fun is less in the scares than in watching the cast emerge themselves in method acting.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The idea is really original and Dafoe delivers a spectacular performance under that fantastic makeup (the scene of the Count devouring the bat is hysterical); it is just a pity, though, that the weak script has such a redundant dialogue and Merhige's direction has some misfires.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

If there is a good reason to watch this film, then it's Willem Dafoe's spine shivering performance. From his body language and disturbing smile, to his maniacal voice, Dafoe delivers a performance that shouldn't be forgotten very easily. There was a particular scene that was priceless; of how Dafoe's character was hit by the sun, his reaction was so convincing, its very difficult to ignore how powerful Willem Dafoe made this Oscar worthy performance, for which I personally believe he should've won.

Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

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