Spring 2023 Horror Introduction
This will be just like any other marathon of horror movie reviews. Unlike the others who did videos, mine will simply be written. The order in which I'll do my reviews will mostly be by release date of these films. I would like to give some credit to James Rolfe from Cinemassacre for being my inspiration. He first got me into horror movies when I was 11 or 12 and is still my inspiration today. Now let's get into my own views and retrospectives on these classics from my favorite genre.
This timeless silent film became so iconic that it has been included in several college courses, even at the one that currently attend at the time I'm writing this little review. This is partly because of how it's analyzed with other German movies. The plague aspect is usually overlooked as symbolic for post-war fear in Germany. You wan't to know how I see it? I see this simply as the grandfather or pioneer of vampire cinema. A silent film with this kind of reputation did not come easy for F.W. Murnau.
Not only is this the first true vampire film, it's also the first adaption of Stoker's Dracula. However, it's become common knowledge among fans of the genre that Murnau couldn't get the rights to even release it. Well, it eventually was but the names of the characters had to be changed to avoid any outcry. The novel is mentioned in the opening credits, but the vampire antagonist of the story is "Count Orlok" instead of Dracula. Nonetheless, it still remains somewhat faithful to Stoker's book.
When Hutter travels to the vampire's castle, Murnau managed to film this part of the story outside and inside an actual castle. If you want to know which specific castle, look it up in filming locations section on IMDb. Just like in the book, he eventually escapes from the castle and rushes back to his home in an attempt to rescue his lover. There is also that scary moment on the ship where he rises out of that coffin. Hardly any other actors could be a scary Dracula as Max Schreck. If you want to know which version to watch, I would recommend the restored Symphony of Horror version on Blu-Ray.
*Also worth checking out is the 1979 remake directed by Werner Herzog and stars Bruno Ganz (from Wings of Desire) and Klaus Kinski.