Horror movie Nosferatu
One of the staple monsters over the years in horror films has been the dark, brooding menace of the vampire. Eastern folklore and in particular Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula has spawned countless films which use the blood-sucking demon as their ‘other’. It is quite possible that it is the most frequent monster in horror films and will continue to be for a long time yet.
When deciding which vampire film to include in this list we have to take into account the various forms it has taken. Many would say Christopher Lee was the archetypal vampire with his portrayal of Dracula or Bela Lugosi with his take on it but this list has chosen the film which first introduced the terrible Count to the big screen.
F.W. Murnau’s 1922 classic Nosferatu is an adaptation of the novel Dracula in all but name. It belongs to the age of silent classics and in particular the expressionist movement of Germany but it also stands the test of time with its horror credentials. It arguably contains the greatest vampire scene (the shadow on the stairs) this side of Christopher Lee’s red eyes.
Shot in Eastern Europe without the use of studio sets for the majority of the time it creates an atmosphere which broods on you. Images of the sea precede the arrival of the dreaded vampire on the shores of Bremen and expressionist shadows play with your perception. It is a film from a time when horror cinema was in its infancy with an impact which still resonates today.
Perhaps one of the most striking things about this film is the vampire himself. This is not the dark, brooding handsome Count but a horrible rat-like creature with huge talons and prominent teeth. It has been accused of being anti-semitic in its actions although we have to understand that this was made in a pre-war Germany.