Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror – A reminder of original horror

by Maria Kriva

by Maria Kriva

Despite how rapidly technology evolves and the years passing by, there are some films that are certainly worth our time. Horror films, as we know them today and all the trends that have been created in this industry, have a root, a source that must be appreciated and acknowledged.

An all-time classic trend in horror films, is Vampires. With a new “Dracula” series coming up, abusing once again the story of Count Dracula, and a quite large number of movies under the “Dracula” brand name, it is an opportunity to get to know the source of this “evil”. The British Film Institute (BFI), from October 21st until November 29th, is paying a tribute to all those never-to-be-forgotten gothic films, that gave birth to horror stories, like Frankenstein, Werewolf, Dracula and Nosferatu.

One of the films worth watching is Nosferatu. To avoid any confusion, I am not talking about the widely known adaptation of Nosferatu, that is  the “Nosferatu: The Vampyre” film of 1979, starring Klaus Kinski. As I mentioned before, the point is to know and appreciate the primary source of the Nosferatu phenomenon.

The first film to visualise the Nosferatu came out in 1922 under the title of “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror”. Of course back then the cinema was in its earliest stages. So, the film is silent, accompanied by music and black and white.

It shows the story of a real estate agent, Hutter, who as part of his work has to travel to Transylvania and meet Count Orlok in his Castle and try to sell him a property in Wisbourg Germany, where Hutter lives as well. While first he thought he was a guest at Count Orlok’s castle, he then realised he is a hostage of the bloodthirsty Nosferatu. Terror and plague spread out as Count Orlok moves to Wilsbourg to his new property. Hutter’s wife, Ellen, makes the ultimate sacrifice by offering her blood to the Nosferatu in order to stop him from haunting the small town and her dreams.

To all fairness, Nosferatu is inspired by Bram Stoker‘s novel “Count Dracula”, released in 1897. The book is a combination of letters and diary entries of the main characters and unravels the story of a young English solicitor, Jonathan, who travels to Transylvania to give Count Dracula legal advise about a property that he intents to buy. After his visit, Jonathan and his fiance Mina, will be haunted by the evil creature that lurks every night.

Bram Stoker’s book fueled the production of quite a few films, with the 1992 “Dracula”, starring Gary Oldman and Keanu Reeves, standing out. However, it is always important to remember where pure horror originated from.


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