Friday, October 1, 2010

October Movie Reviews: Nosferatu 1922

For my first of the October Reviews I want to start with a classic.

Now I have been huge Dracula fan for as long as I can recall, but the one thing about the mythos I hate is the desire to make Dracula a misunderstood or even worse a tragic hero. Now I get the desire to make him suave and sexy and even a desire to connect the mythical Dracula to the historical Vlad,  but lets get serious here.  This is Dracula, not Twilight.  He is a monster.  He killed Lucy, her mother, tried to kill Johnathan and Mina and pretty much everyone else in the book.

That being said you can see the evolution on the thoughts of the character by viewing him through the eyes of the popular films.

Nosferatu (1922)

The first major cinematic release.  If you have not seen this movie then put it on your Halloween must see list. This movie is silent, black and white and an absolutely a classic.  There are issues with the script, mostly due to the insistance of the Stoker estate.  So Dracula became Count Orlock; and Orlock is a monster.  He is rat-like, bald and devoid of anything that could be considered "sexy".  This is a good thing, I think.  The cinematography in this movie is fantastic.  The special effects are state of the art for the time and any time you see Dracula's shadow move without him you have this movie to thank.

The characters outside of Dracula/Orlock are not as good, of course some of that over acting was due to the medium and style of the time.  Like most of the movies there are characters are missing, though not as many as future movies.
The movie though remains a classic, not because of it's age, but because it is still quite good.

There is something very, well, German, about this film.  It's has enough angst to knock the perm right out of Edward Cullen's hair, but yet not overwrought.  Or at least a different overwrought.  This can be seen in the later re-interpretations Nosferatu (1979) and Shadow of the Vampire (2000).


ze bulette said...

There are a few scenes from this movie that are ridiculously kick ass even today.

Trey said...

What Bulette said.