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11/15/19

Shadow of the Vampire: movie reivew

Shadow of the Vampire PosterGenre: Comedy, Horror

Rated: R

Year of Release: 2000

Director:  E. Elias Merhige

Summary: Shadow of the Vampire is a film about the making of a German all time classic silent horror-movie from 1922 called Nosferatu-Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu-a Symphony of Horror). The production of Nosferatu had to deal with a lot of strange things (some crew members disappeared, some died). This movie focuses on the difficult relationship between Murnau, the director, and Schreck, the lead actor.

Review: In a way this movie is not ha ha funny but revolves around the concept of a real vampire hire to play the part of a vampire in a movie and the film craw thinking that he just really dedicated to his role. I like how some scenes parallel with the scenes from the original Nosferatu and the use of the old cameras is cool.

Nosferatu is a film you have to watch once at least before watching Shadow of the Vampire to fully understand the inspiration and what this movie is trying to accomplish. For an early silent horror film Nosferatu is still creepy. The use of long shadows and crooked camera angles gives it an unnerving feel.

I highly recommend this to anyone that like old classic movies.

8/10

More info: IMDb

Fun Facts:

  • Murnau's line, "If it isn't in the frame, it doesn't exist", is a paraphrase of a piece of advice the real Murnau gave to the young Alfred Hitchcock when the latter visited the Ufa Studios in Berlin before becoming famous. Hitchcock never forgot this advice and was still quoting it when making his final movie in the mid-1970s. The use of the quotation in the context of "Shadow Of The Vampire" is a distortion of what the real Murnau meant. 
  • Based in part upon a legend that Max Schreck was in reality a vampire which is why he played the role of Orlock/Dracula so well. Some variations of the legend suggest that Nosferatu (1922) was the only film Schreck made, though in reality he was already a stage and screen veteran by the time Nosferatu was shot, and would appear in many non-Vampiric roles before his death in 1936.
  • The music played on the phonograph to set the mood for the actors in some of the scenes is the soundtrack of Dracula (1979) written by John Williams.

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