Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Nosferatu (1922) Classic Movie Review

 Nosferatu (1922) Poster
This review is a great companion to my review of "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari", just like Caligari, this is another break out movie of German Expression Cinema. Like Caligari it is also a very early silent film. This film is pretty much the story of Dracula, but.... The movie makers didn't have the rights to the book, so to get round this problem they just changed the location and changed Dracula's name to Count Orlok, problem solved.

Max Schreck plays Count Orlok in a fantastic performance. This must be one of the stand out performances from silent cinema. When Orlok stalks his prey it is so chilling, he has an evil hunger look in his eyes, the walk is slow and sinister like a lion ready to pounce , match this with the beautiful camera angles and its a match made in heaven. The camera work is so wonderful for early cinema, one stand out scene sees Orlok on a ship stalking his final victim of said ship, Schreck plays it so understated, moving so slow and eerie like, he moves further on the deck of the ship, moving towards his prey! The camera shows this from a sort of worms eye view, really low and about 2 foot away from him it looks amazing, the camera flips to the victims look of horror as this beast comes towards him, this is the birth of Horror!!

The scenery in this film is brilliant, a real eastern European castle was used for Orloks castle, it adds to the wonder of the film, if they had of used sets like Caligari I don't think it would of been as good! There is something about seeing a real castle with a big doorway and huge courtyard with Orlok skulking around in the shadows, it is great.

Anybody that knows the story of Dracula will know this is pretty much just the same, like I said before they just changed the names. If you are like me and you appreciate where movies started and where they came from, you need to see this it is a beautifully shot horror and still so eerie today. Schreck's Count Orlok is one of my favourite horror characters of all time! The acting from him is so ahead of its time how he made this character so sinister is just amazing to behold. If it wasn't for this film or Caligari we would not have horror cinema as we know it today! You can catch this film very easily on Youtube, check it out, hit the lights and grab that popcorn, this is a must see film!
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