In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Wisbourg, Germany based estate agent Knock dispatches his associate, Hutter, to Count Orlok's castle in Transylvania as the Count wants to purchase an isolated house in Wisbourg. They plan on selling him the one across the way from Hutter's own home. Hutter leaves his innocent wife, Ellen, with some friends while he is away. Hutter's trek is an unusual one, with many locals not wanting to take him near the castle where strange events have been occurring. Once at the castle, Hutter does manage to sell the Count the house, but he also notices and feels unusual occurrences, primarily feeling like there is a dark shadow hanging over him, even in the daytime when the Count is unusually asleep. Hutter eventually sees the Count's sleeping chamber in a crypt, and based on a book he has recently read, believes the Count is really a vampire or Nosferatu. While Hutter is trapped in the castle, the Count, hiding in a shipment of coffins, makes his way to Wisbourg, causing death along his way, ... Written by
a truly original Vampire film- a tale of the Gothic legend in Murnau's masterpiece
Nosferatu is a great horror movie (possibly the first ever according to some accounts), and one of the pinnacles of the German silent era of film-making. Made in the silent age by the German expressionist/auteur FW Murnau, the film has the genuine power to act creepy, odd, alluring, mythic, and beautiful by way of images and music that don't leave your mind once the film is over. It's like someone collected a stash of nightmares and pulled them together with the original Bram Stoker story of Dracula. Max Shreck, in his most notorious role (and apparently the only one really anyone's bothered to see) plays the monstrous Count Orlock, a vampire who comes out at night to tempt the living and, of course, to suck blood. Though this story of Dracula has been numerously repeated (even by the Hollywood version in the early 30s), this film is one of the prime examples of how horror SHOULD be done- dispense with cheap thrills or overloading with exposition.
A director like Murnau here, who had total artistic control (abeit the film not in circulation for many years), could transform Orlock's world into one of acute, deliberate angles, long deep shadows, and painting with light like some mad artist from the dark ages. One could almost claim that this, alongside Night of the Living Dead, changed the way audiences looked at horror films, that a style and presence could be wrung from characters that bring out the worst fears and dread in common people. Years from now, long into the digital age, there may still be room for of all things a silent, non-talking effort like Nosferatu, where the terror can still be felt through the black and white (sometimes tinted) photography and stark physical performances by Schrek and the others. In short, a film like this is one of the reasons I love to watch horror movies.
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