This is my reaction blog to Nosferatu, 1922, F.W. Murnau, Germany.
A silent but brilliant film, filmed in the 1920s. NOSFERATU is a silent, German expressionist film made in the early 1920s. It was directed by F.W. Murnau with cinematography by Fritz Arno Wagner and Günther Krampf, starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok and Gustav von Wangenheim as Thomas Hutter.
It is based on Bram Stoker’s book Dracula, although the names and a few other details were changed because the studio was unable to obtain the rights to the novel. The story involves Thomas Hutter’s (Jonathan Harker) encounter with a “nosferatu” (vampire) named Count Orlok (Dracula) whom he meets at the Count’s castle in Transylvania. He is sent to the castle to negotiate the Count’s purchase of a house in Wisborg, were Hutter lives.
Nosferatu is a gothic horror film, would influence later productions of Dracula movies, it also introduced that vampires fear the sun. Some would say it is the best adaptation of Dracula to date
What intrigued me the most about this film, was the photography/cinematography of this film being an avid photographer myself, I was mesmerized by the “low key” style, I think it really added to the ominous atmosphere of the film. The photography in Nosferatu is highly influenced by the German Expressionist Movement and is very symbolic and stylized. This is what makes it one of the creepiest of the genre.
The film uses few close up shots, one of my favorite shots was the low angel view of Orlok walking on the mast. For a film made during this time, the special effects were pretty eerie and creepy especially the stop motion effect used in the carriage ride, almost as to convey some sort of demonic, ghostly speed.
In conclusion Murnau, Wagner, and Krampf did a good job bringing this story to life. Using photography, good settings, and skilled actors they created a believable world and a most menacing monster. This will undoubtedly be known as the film where Dracula had his birth!