To celebrate Halloween, I went to see Nosferatu at one of our local theaters. I have seen this one before, but I’d never seen it like this. A live band performed a new score for the film. It was fantastic! The Andrew Alden Ensemble performed the score, and it was way better than just catching the movie on DVD. Having musicians in the room infused the performance with emotion and a new kind of excitement. Apparently the original score was lost, and subsequent re-creations have all been reverse engineered from the 1922 film.
I can appreciate this movie for what it is—groundbreaking, the first time audiences really saw vampires. The imagery is top notch, and it’s neat to see a movie that’s almost 100 years old. The point-of-view shots are great, some of the shadow play that they do with Count Orlock’s twisted figure is awesome. That said, the pacing really doesn’t work for me. I respect it, and I think everyone should check it out (preferably with the live music). But I don’t especially enjoy it, and I feel guilty about that.
Every instance you’ve ever seen about a vampire being killed by the sun hearkens back to this movie. In Dracula, the sun only weakens him. They made the change to death by sunlight so they could say their movie was different from Dracula. It makes you wonder about some of these legends we horror fans hold so dear. One little twist in one movie has altered vampire cannon. It becomes easy, when seen through that lens, to see how people with tuberculosis could have been thought of as vampires in early New England.
Even though I missed a movie (I was so good for so long) this film wraps up my 31 days of terror. Over the weekend I’ll throw together a list of my TOP 50 horror movies for everyone to pick apart and dissect. Thanks for hanging with me this October, and we’ll do this again next year! (Though the list of horror movies I haven’t seen and want to see gets smaller and smaller.) In the queue for next year: Dracula 1931, Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 5: The Return of Leatherface, and Prom Night.