F.W. Murnau's classic take on the Dracula legend -- or rather, the "Count Orlok" legend, as Marnau was unable to get the rights to Bram Stoker's novel -- doesn't even get the villain out of his homeland until 60 minutes into the 79 minute film. Gothic and very German, its stars caked with eye makeup, Nosferatu's heroes are shrugging and ambivalent, while its antihero is a ghoulish yet surprisngly ineffective menace. As a silent film, Murnau's title cards are incredibly over the top and uninteresting, while the film on the whole appears to be directed by a madman.
Still, this is 1922, and many things can be forgiven. Nosferatu earns its place in the cinematic archives, but its accessibility to modern viewers is surely all but lost.
Aka Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens.
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Director: F.W. Murnau
Screenwriter: Henrik Galeen