Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)
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Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)
F. W. Murnau's landmark vampire film Nosferatu isn't merely a variation on Bram Stoker's Dracula: it's a direct steal, so much so that Stoker's widow went to court, demanding in vain that the Murnau film be suppressed and destroyed. The character names have been changed to protect the guilty (in the original German prints, at least), but devotees of Stoker will have little trouble recognizing their Dracula counterparts. The film begins in the Carpathian mountains, where real estate agent Hutter (Gustav von Wagenheim) has arrived to close a sale with the reclusive Herr Orlok… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is the sort of thing one could watch at midnight without its having much effect upon one's slumbering hours."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"It's not just a great horror movie. It's a poem of horror, a symphony of dread, a film so rapt, mysterious and weirdly lovely it haunts the mind long after it's over."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Nosferatu remains the best vampire movie of all time. It possesses a strain of sheer dread not captured by any subsequent bloodsucker film."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Still one of the scariest, most unnerving films ever made."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Nosferatu is an important piece of cinema history, featuring innovative direction, remarkable make-up and a genuinely chilling atmosphere."
‑ , Total Film
"Never mind that much of the story of this first important screen version of the Dracula legend seems corny and dated, for what counts is its atmosphere and its images, which are timeless in their power."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"The metaphysical style is most vividly rendered by Murnau's obsessive use of point-of-view shots, which force a viewer to follow the characters into the abyss of their terrifying visions."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Whatever your opinion regarding intellectual property, I'm sure you'll agree we're fortunate that the movie survived, even in its various contested and truncated forms."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"There is pure expressionist inspiration in Murnau's juxtaposition of the malign wolves and the terrified old women: a poetry of fear."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"'Nosferatu' is worthwhile on two counts: mise-en-scène and the actor who is the title (and sole) vampire."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Less frightening than haunting, Murnau's film conjures a persistent atmosphere of dread and decay, thanks in part to Max Schreck's immortal performance as Orlok."
‑ Dennis Lim, Los Angeles Times
"Murnau proved his directorial artistry in Sunrise for Fox about three years earlier, but in this picture he's a master artisan demonstrating not only a knowledge of the subtler side of directing but in photography."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The movie's best effect is its star...He looks every bit like an actual demonic wild-thing, retrieved from deep within the German wilderness and trotted out to perform for Murnau's camera."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"Count Orlock, played by the hideous Max Schreck, creeps through Murnau's archetypal silent imagery with a mesmerising authority that retains a surprising amount of tension."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"Most likely the first horror film to express something beyond simple chills and thrills."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com

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