What a Lovely Throat

        F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) was a wonderful film based on Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula (1897). It is a silent horror film about a vampire who chooses to relocate after taking many lives from near his home in Transylvania. The film makes many references to what the modern-day viewer believes of vampires.

        I was surprised by my comprehension of Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens with it being a silent film. The actors: Max Schreck (Count Orlok), Gustav von Wangenheim (Hutter), and Greta Schroder (Ellen) all play amazing roles in which they use their expression perfectly to show the viewer their thoughts and feelings. Although the written dialect between certain scenes is helpful, I believe I would have been able to understand the film without them. The music is also very important for the scenes. Every time Nosferatu was shown loud, eerie music was played. By the actor's expressions and the composer's choice of music were both great in relaying the fear of Count Orlok.

        Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens was nothing new to me as far as a vampire movie. There are several references that are made that are present in many typical vampire movies. For example, Count Orlok lives in a castle in Transylvania. He travels to a new place for new victims by a boat. Obviously, this is similar to Dracula, but it is also similar to Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), in which the vampire Maximillian (Eddie Murphy) goes to Brooklyn after traveling by boat from Transylvania.

         Another similarity is the seduction of women that vampires seem to always do. In all cases, the vampire has a strong connection and sexual attraction to a certain woman, who is usually the only one who can defeat him. This is true for all the stories. In Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, Ellen (Greta Schroder) can stop Nosferatu by surrendering herself to him, which defeats him.

        To my surprise, I really enjoyed Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens. In the beginning, I was not very interested in it being a silent film. However, the more I watched, the more I enjoyed it. I enjoy vampire movies so this was a new version with the traditional ideas to me. It is basically just like Dracula with different names because writer Henrik Galeen did not obtain permission to use the same names, which caused two lawsuits from Bram Stoker's widow. Yet, these lawsuits did not stop Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens from becoming a great classic every Dracula fan should see!

Charlsie Taylor

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