Nosferatu (1922)

  • Horror
  • 1h 35m

Celebrating its centenary this year, FW Murnau’s silent masterpiece Nosferatu is a film which (like the iconic shot of its title character climbing those stairs) casts a long, looming shadow of influence over everything that would come after it. The earliest surviving adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu was an unauthorised version in which the character names were changed in a (failed) attempt to conceal its origins. Stoker’s estate sued, and the court ruled all copies of the film to be destroyed. Luckily for us, several prints of the film survived, and the rest is history.

The film is perhaps best remembered for Count Orlok’s monstrous, rodent-like appearance and the iconic use of expressionist shadows and set design. Despite the Count’s grotesque appearance and the creeping, pervasive sense of gloom that permeates the film, Nosferatu also contains a hint of the sympathetic vampires to come: Orlok appears to be a victim of his own bloodlust, trapped by a desire that figures in his own demise.

Nosferatu is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and a landmark film in horror history. Here’s to 100 more years!


Max Shreck


FW Murnau



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