Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey


Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey

Critics Consensus

Full of disorienting visual effects, Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr is as theoretically unsettling as it is conceptually disturbing.



Reviews Counted: 30

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,380


All Critics | Top Critics
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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

Vampyr ranks in many circles as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, the story concerns a mysterious series of killings, committed by a crone of a female vampire (Henriette Gerard). The story is told through the eyes of a holiday reveller (Julian West), who at first scoffs at the notion of a supernatural murderer, but who is eventually forced to believe that there are more things in heaven and earth. Dreyer offers few explanations of the phenomena he presents on screen: the strange and frightening happenings just happen, as casually as any everyday occurrence. As was his custom, Dreyer mostly uses nonprofessionals in his cast. Vampyr is available in a wide variety of severely edited and duped versions. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Henriette Gerard
as The Woman from the Cemetery
Rena Mandel
as Gisèle
Julian West
as Allan Grey
Maurice Schutz
as Lord of the Manor
Albert Bras
as Servant
N. Babanini
as The Girl
Jane Mora
as The Religious Woman
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News & Interviews for Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey

Critic Reviews for Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (5)

Stay with him and you'll be rewarded with one of the more-unusual horror films you'll ever see -- or films of any kind, for that matter.

Oct 8, 2014 | Full Review…

[The film conjures] inexplicable dread, on a night that feels brighter than day.

Aug 21, 2013 | Full Review…

Vampyr is Dreyer's most radical film -- maybe one of my dozen favorite movies by any director.

Aug 28, 2008 | Full Review…

If you've never seen a Carl Dreyer film and wonder why many critics, myself included, regard him as possibly the greatest of all filmmakers, this chilling horror fantasy is the perfect place to begin to understand.

Sep 19, 2007 | Full Review…

With the help of Rudolph Maté's luminous photography, Dreyer creates a film of great beauty.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

a masterfully evocative and unsettling horror film

Oct 18, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey

The plot can be a little light and incoherent at times, but Carl Theodor Dreyer's "Vampyr" manages to be an effectively creepy film. The gothic scenery and unsettling visuals give the film a "nightmare" sensibility that makes this a great horror movie to watch on a dark Halloween night. There are so many scenes in this move that are really well done. One of the things I admire about the film is it's kinetic cinematography, which gives way to very interesting viewpoints in a lot of scenes. One example is a scene were the camera puts us through the perspective of a man lying in a coffin as he is being carried to be buried in a graveyard. The camera points straight up through a small window in the coffin, which gives way to creepy bits were people are looking inside the coffin and views of a gothic church from an upward angle. The concept of being buried alive is pretty terrifying, which is why the first-person camera viewpoint makes the scene very effective. The film also uses shadows in a way that is both hypnotic and surreal. Despite being a sound movie, it might as well be called a silent film since there is very little dialogue spoken throughout. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is a horror fan or is in the mood for a good spook-fest.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Probably the most frightening film I've seen to come out of the 1930's. The visuals are still enough to give you nightmares.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

How to describe Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr: It's the cinematic equivalent of wandering alone in a graveyard at midnight. Allan Grey, a supernatural afficionado, stumbles on an eerie Inn in the Scandanavian countryside. It's there a vampire is feeding on the blood of children and enslaving townfolk to do his dark bidding. One such slave is the town quack -- an Einstein-looking, blood-lusting angel of death, forcing transfusions and treating ailing vamp-victim Leone with the dreaded vile marked with skull and crossbones. Dreyer was a visual genius, and he creates a universe of such chilling lucidity and atmosphere you might get dizzy mid-viewing. His camera lurches down dark corridors, scaling a wall of waltzing, shadowy ghosts locking the viewer in a maze of disorienting motion and menace. Shadows are now spiritual beacons bouncing around the flower-checkered walls and off of ghoulish, foggy ponds with no discernable tie to the figures that, we assume, originated them. They become perplexing, silhouetted characters all their own. Then actors get so under-exposed we can't tell the difference anymore. It's a nightmarish out-of-body-experience. Made in 1931, Vampyr is a melange of sound and silence. Aural bites are sparse but they rattle and shake the Inn walls, perfectly timed and effectively reserved: the cries of children, maniacal laughter, a knock on the door from an unwelcome visitor, the rare and mysterious line of dialogue. "She must not die!" says Allan Grey's midnight guest before he scribbles a message on a strange package: TO BE OPENED AFTER MY DEATH. (I bet you can guess what happens next.) There's an unsettling sense of know-how about Dreyer's demented vision. He has mastered what scares us: In a hallucinatory dream state, our hero wanders into a cottage and watches as he is buried alive. We are immediately placed in the body's subjectivity as the coffin lid comes down over the camera. A small glass window, conveniently placed over the victim's face, allows us to watch, from our backs, as twisted tree limbs and cloudy skies pass overhead. Heaven, or perhaps hell, smiles back, as the damned are carted off. The looming storm clouds and specks of sun constantly do battle over Dreyer's hellish country Inn (the first Overlook Hotel, Bates Motel, or even Hostel), where he stages his seminal horror masterpiece.

Bob O'Reilly
Bob O'Reilly

Super Reviewer


widely rejected by critics at the time of release, dreyers classic horror film must have been ahead of its time because critics and fans alike now love this film. the film is rigorously slow paced, in some senses patient and in other senses laborious, the strength of the film really seems to lie in striking images, especially towards the end of the film. the pace is excused thanks to a short running time making this a classic vampire tale that can be enjoyed many times over without much commitment.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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