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Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu Symphony of Horrors, or Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens, is a silent German expressionist horror film directed by F.W Murnau. And whilst drawing heavy inspiration to an almost play by play manner, this is actually an unauthorised and unofficial adaptation of Bram Stokers Dracula - though acknowledging Dracula as the source material in the opening title cards. Although various names were changed (such as Count Dracula to Count Orlok) Stoker's Heirs sued, leading to a court ruling requesting that all copy's of the film to be destroyed. On the most recognisable reissue of this film, the score is written and composed by James Bernard. Bernard is a composer most famously associated with his works on many of the Hammer Horror films of the late 50s and 60s. The original score was performed by Hans Erdmann at the films Berlin premier, however, the majority of the films original score has been lost over the years, prompting Barnard to step in and recompose this many years later. As a fan of classical music, it was a welcomed change and a pleasant experience to sit back and listen to as I watched this film. Whilst clearly extremely dated, there is no denying the level of craftsmanship and dedication that must have gone into creating a production such as this. As someone who is fond of the world of cinema and more so horror, I was mesmerised by the cinematography by Günther Krampf and camera work from cameraman Fritz Arno Wagner. Director F.W Murnau does and outstanding job of combining all of these elements to create a piece of genuinely eerie and haunting cinematic history. The costume and set design was brought to life by Albin Grau, a man who will forever be associated with the birth of an icon in horror. The make up and costume of Count Orlok is nothing short of perfect in my opinion, a character that not only looks terrifying, but is now so instantly recognisable and associated with vampire lore, as much as Dracula himself. Max Schreck who plays Orlock gives a truly haunting portrayal as the lead antagonist and has some of the most iconic scenes in horror. It was nice to be able to place these moments that I am so familiar with, despite without never seeing this film prior to this watch. Considering this film is 100 years old there is no denying the cinematic impact this has on not only the horror genre but cinema as a whole. And whilst I found my self in awe of what can only be described as a relic in the history of moving pictures, my interest and curiosity only managed to keep me engaged in waves and not for the entirety of this films run time. I can't help but fantasise about where cinema will be in another 100 years, and whether people will be looking back at the likes of 'Halloween Ends' and similar horrors released this year such as 'Smile' or 'Barbarian' with the same level of underwhelm as myself with 'Nosferatu'.



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