31 Days of Halloween! #9. Nosferatu

I’m counting down my favorite 31 Horror Movies of all time. Every day this month I’ll feature one movie from my list – starting on Oct 1st with #31 and ending  on the Oct 31st, Halloween, with my #1 favorite scary movie.

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THE TOP 31 HORROR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

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#9. Nosferatu (1922)

Directed by: F. W. Murnau

Starring: Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Plot: Wisbourg, Germany based estate agent Knock dispatches his associate, Hutter, to Count Orlok’s castle in Transylvania as the Count wants to purchase a isolated house in Wisbourg. They plan on selling him the one across the way from Hutter’s own home. Hutter leaves his innocent wife, Ellen, with some friends while he is away. Hutter’s trek is an unusual one, with many locals not wanting to take him near the castle where strange events have been occurring. Once at the castle, Hutter does manage to sell the Count the house, but he also notices and feels unusual occurrences, primarily feeling like there is a dark shadow hanging over him, even in the daytime when the Count is unusually asleep. Hutter eventually sees the Count’s sleeping chamber in a crypt, and based on a book he has recently read, believes the Count is really a vampire or Nosferatu. While Hutter is trapped in the castle, the Count, hiding in a shipment of coffins, makes his way to Wisbourg, causing death along his way, which most attribute to the plague. Hutter himself tries to rush home to save his town and most importantly save Ellen from Nosferatu’s imminent arrival. In Wisbourg, Ellen can feel the impending darkness as Nosferatu gets closer. But she learns that a sinless woman can sacrifice herself to kill the vampire. Will Hutter be able to save Ellen either from Nosferatu and/or her self-sacrifice?

My Thoughts

Vampires have always scared the shit out of me. More then zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and mummy’s, the vampire was the monster that kept me up at night as a kid with the covers pulled up over my neck. Something about a human being that use to be a loving, caring person, maybe even a family member, coming back from the dead to feed on you just always struck a nerve within me growing up. These days my nights are no longer filled with terror and I can watch Christopher Lee suck the shit out of some busty blonde and sleep like a baby, but back when I was a kid my bedroom window at night held the most unimaginable horrors – right outside behind that glass – waiting for me to pull back the curtains and see their yellow eyes. The first film adaption of Bram Stokers novel DraculaNosferatu still stands as one of the best even 90 years later. This silent film had to change the names of Stokers characters due to never getting the rights from Stokers widow, thus the vampires name is now Count Orlok and Harker is Hutter, so on and so on. But the story is the same and director F.W Murnau does a fabulous job of retaining much of the novels key moments and overall tone – that of complete dread. There are beautifully creepy scenes here that play with shadows and light, invoking the dreariest of the German expressionists. But the real star of this movie and the key to it’s long lasting success and following is actor Max Schreck, who played the vampire Count Orlok. He is quite simply, the most terrifying film vampire ever. Schreck embodies everything that the undead should – complete evil and absence of humanity. Schreck plays the Count as something not of this realm, something that has awoken in our world and brings with him the foulness of the dark place he is from. He is an abomination.

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