Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht


Dir: Werner Herzog (Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man, Fitzcarraldo)
Source Material: The book "Dracula" by Bram Stoker (unaccredited)
Cast: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor, Martje Grohmann, Walter Ladengast
West Germany/France, 1979

Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula
Isabelle Adjani as Lucy
Bruno Ganz as Harker
Roland Topor as Renfield
Martje Grohmann as Mina
Walter Ladengast as Van Helsing

Seen: October 10, 2009

Reason to Review: Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon * and it's on my 101 Films List

It was a challenge finding this film, but I finally found it and finally watched it. Maybe the chase of that built up too much expectation, as sitting down to watch it I was left slightly underwhelmed. I'm a Herzog fan, and I'll give that this film is now 30 years old, but I did expect more. Perhaps being so entrenched in vampire lore made it easy to pick out all the similarities to Nosferatu (1922). When they decided to do something different visually, it worked well and was often the strongest moments in the film.

I was happy to see that there were nods to but not redramatizations of the stellar art direction and quintessential moments of the original. Instead, different tactics where taken to create a new, creepy and fantastical tone. Rich landscapes are also a treat to see in the travels of young Harker in his quest to find Count Dracula. In terms of lore, it follows the same patterns developed in Nosferatu (1922).

Klaus Kinski is the stand out here, bringing the creepy and alluring Count Dracula to life and was one of the main draws to the film. He's truly a cut above and fully embodies the character in all the right ways. Another draw to the Nosferatu stories over the classic Dracula stories for me is that the women have a stronger role. In this version that would be Lucy, played by Isabelle Adjani does a fantastic job centring the human story amongst the madness and decay.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it, but wanted to enjoy it more
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of classic and vampire films

Return to Film Reviews, See all Vampire Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

* Vampathon is a 16 week marathon explore vampire films from Nosferatu (1922) up to the upcoming release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Francisco Gonzalez said...
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Francisco Gonzalez said...

This is one of my favorite Herzog films. It just oooozes atmosphere in every moment.

Its slow pace might scare away some viewers, but I inmmersed myself in it.

I love how Herzog really staayysss in a moment so you can really absorb it.

Kinski as Count Orloc was great, but in my opinion he is always great in Herzog films.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Interesting, I didn't think of the pace as slow at the time but it does read that way - and the period focus of it kinda adds to that as well. But it really works when they go creepy and I agree that Klaus Kinski was great.

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