31 in 31: Nosferatu (1922)

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Story:  Just a guy.  Standing over a girl.  Trying to bite her neck.  Sounds like Dracula?  Of course not!  *pauses*  Why, do you think they’ll sue?

Scares: Surprisingly effective for a silent film.  Echoes of my earlier review of The Mummy?  Well that’s not surprising; these babies are classics, and for damn good reasons.  Excellent lighting, set design and directing included.

Splat factor:  It’s 1922 y’all.  Nup.  Fangs were scary enough back then.  And  Max Schreck still delivers.

Closing scene “shocker”: Not at all.  Unless you count (heh heh) the way our plucky heroine Ellen saves the day.  Genius!  Rather severe, but genius!

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul):  It’s totally ripped off from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (yeah, in case you missed that), but Nosferatu is considered a classic on it’s own merits.

Trick or Treat?:  An oldie but a goodie!  Don’t let the silent-ness get you spooked in a bad way; Nosferatu is amazing.  It’s been almost a hundred years since this film came out, and it still has the power to grab an audience and hold on tight.  Director John Malkovich F. W. Murnau (Sunrise, Faust) is a master of imagery, even among his peers who only had visions to convey their message.  C’mon; the ol’ “shadow coming up the stair” thing is spooky-cool even today.

Tell me I'm lying. (image: Wikipedia)

Tell me I’m lying. (image: Wikipedia)

Nosferatu is available just about anywhere, thanks to the whole Public Domain thing (um, at least in the USA. Some of you folks across the water may be forced to buy it or rent it.  But totes worth it.)  See it.  Not only will you get to indulge in some grade A horror, you’ll have your snobby “cinema” pals nodding about your good taste.  Which should be good for getting a beer out of them, at the least.

Score:  wpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgout of 5 pumpkins.

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