Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Foreign Film Spotlight: NOSFERATU

Some of the best films ever created are ones that the general audience has never seen, and this is because they are not made in the states. Welcome to another installment of FOREIGN FILM SPOTLIGHT, where we showcase some of the best in foreign cinema to help broaden your horizons. This week we take a look at the haunting German horror film, NOSFERATU, which was released in 1922 and directed by F.W. Mumau.

I greatly admire the use of shadow and light in this film, especially when Count Orlok is on the staircase. That image will always be imprinted in my mind, as I'm sure it is with many others. The imagery had a very gothic feel to it and the movie felt pure. It was free from clich├ęs that clutter modern horror films today.

Count Orlok's appearance in this film haunts me. He has long fingernails and soulless eyes. Seeing him onscreen left me with a foreboding feeling. However, a vampire's appearance can be deceptive. A handsome face hides their true nature. Also, the film had a very eerie feeling about it. I had trouble sleeping after watching it and I found myself looking outside my window nightly.

Nosferatu was loosely based on Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, however the names of the characters were obviously changed. Both creatures of the night are obsessed with a woman. In Count Orlok's case, it's his house guest's wife, Ellen Hutter. Any man, even a vampire, can be destroyed by a woman.

This film was received well by critics and became a hit when released in the United States in 1929. It has a fresh rating of 97% and an 87% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nosferatu was one of the most influential silent films ever made.

The movie was important in the evolution of the horror genre and is a must-see for horror fans because it shows them where it all began.

Lisa's Score: 8.5/10

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