Dash Jordan here, and…really kids? I know I said it’s Request Time, but for some reason you decided to make it hard for me. I really hate having to flip a coin on two of the most amazing and important horror films of the Silent Era. We got ourselves a tie today, and the nickel came up tails.
Dr. Caligari will have to wait…
If you’ve read my Top Ten Draculas, then you may remember that I briefly touched upon the film’s origin so I’ll try not to sound like a broken record. ‘Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror’ is the 1922 classic Silent film directed by F.W. Murnau. Nine decades later, the film is still regarded as one of the greatest horror films of the Silent Era, if not one of the greatest horror films of all time. Even after all other horror films that have come after, ‘Nosferatu’ still manages to withstand the test of time. But why? It certainly isn’t Count Orlok’s winning personality.
So what if the film is silent! This is one of the most beautiful films to ever have been filmed. I’ve been talking a lot about a film’s cinematography lately, but almost every single film I’ve reviewed this month have all been inspired by ‘Nosferatu’ to some degree or other. The lighting and shadows make it a truly unsettling experience and only intensifies every moment we see our monster on screen.
Speaking of which…I give every actor from the Silent Era my utmost respect already. Obviously, because they can’t speak on film and have to rely solely on their body language. However, the actor who truly deserves attention is German character actor Max Schreck as the fiendish Count Orlok. Who can forget the bald head, long ears, long claws, pale skin and the much-needed dental work in history.
By far one of the most important actors of all time, Schreck’s performance is truly a frightening site. Usually, the film uses effects to make an actor look good. But, Schreck’s movements and overall look are what made the effects look good. Not to mention the fact that this performance inspired countless other performances in other great horror films. From Klaus Kinski in ‘Nosferatu The Vampyre’ to Robert Englund in ‘Wes Craven’s New Nightmare’.
Maybe I’m in a generous mood today, or maybe I do feel that the film is downright flawless. Just take into consideration that ‘Nosferatu’ was never really supposed to happen in the first place AND the fact that just a few prints of the movie survived after Bram Stoker’s estate ordered all copies to be destroyed. Ever since then, ‘Nosferatu’ has been resting comfortably in the public domain, has been restored so many times, reimagined in films like ‘Nosferatu The Vampyre’ and ‘Shadow Of The Vampire’, and even satirized on TV shows like ‘Spongebob Squarepants’.
All joking aside, there should be no reason why you haven’t seen this amazing landmark of a film yet. They don’t call ‘Nosferatu’ one of the most influential films of all time just because it sounds cute. The level of importance this film has on the Horror genre and on cinema as a whole can never be forgotten or ignored.
Until next time, kids…Gotta Dash!
Written by Shane Moose
Videos & Photos:
Nosferatu(owned by Film Arts Guild)
Nosferatu The Vampyre(owned by 20th Century Fox, Werner Herzog Filmproduktion & Gaumont)
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare(owned by New Line Cinema)
Spongebob Squarepants(owned by United Plankton Pictures, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Viacom International Media Networks & Paramount Television)