Shadow of the Vampire
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

F W Murnau is making Nosferatu on location in Eastern Europe. The director is determined to make this the most authentic movie ever. To this end Murnau has employed a real vampire, Max Schreck. He explains Schreck's weird behavior by… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 29, 2000
DVD Release Date: May 29, 2001
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Critic Score: 81% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.

David Edelstein

The screenplay, by Steven Katz, suffers from arch, almost unspeakably theatrical dialogue, and, as Murnau, John Malkovich recites his lines as if monomania were synonymous with monotonic: He drains the drama of blood.

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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof.

John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

shines forth as a labor of love

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Todd McCarthy

Wholly absorbing and inspired in parts, this carefully crafted curio dares to suggest that Murnau made a Faustian pact with an actual vampire to play the title role in exchange for the neck of the film's leading lady at production's end.

Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Out of such dizzying layers of (un)reality, some sublime films have emerged. Nosferatu was one of them, and this is not -- but, c'mon, credit it with the old college try, a pretty decent effort.

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Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Vampire satire has some creepy moments.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Intriguing, eccentric, sporadically entertaining tosh (but tosh all the same).

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

This stupid and demeaning fantasy about the shooting of F.W. Murnau's 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu is a piece of postmodernist kitsch whose only redeeming quality is an enjoyably over-the-top, eye-rolling performance by Willem Dafoe.

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Michael Dequina

This strictly-for-the-cinéastes fantasy is wild, warped fun.

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More reviews for Shadow of the Vampire

Flixster Audience Score: 74% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
Willem Dafoe and John Malkavich in a horror film that wonders aloud if true horror is actually working with "committed artists". Very nearly a… More
Samuel Riley
If there is a good reason to watch this film, then it's Willem Dafoe's spine shivering performance. From his body language and disturbing smile, to… More
Carlos Magalhães
The idea is really original and Dafoe delivers a spectacular performance under that fantastic makeup (the scene of the Count devouring the bat is hysterical);… More
Sophie Burgess
Not quite sure what to think of this one. At some parts it's extremely interesting but at other times I feel I'm watching a film written by a 5 year… More
Directors Cat
Tim Salmons
Quirky and well acted but a bit slow at times.