Saturday, October 20, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 20 - Movie

Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu (1922) , Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht/ Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) returns the proper names to the characters (mostly. Mina and Lucy are swapped, and Renfield is now Harker's boss instead of a coworker) from Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, which the original film was based on. Rather than being a straight adaptation of Dracula, the remake includes elements that originate in the 1922 version of Nosferatu and not with Dracula, the novel. These include the plague of rats that accompanies Dracula on his voyage, and Lucy's attempt to save her husband from the vampire by sacrificing herself. Van Helsing is also present, but presented as a skeptical man of science as opposed to the vampire expert we all know and love.

Less atmospheric than the original, Herzog's version is more matter of fact with some poetic moments and nice visuals. Klaus Kinski as Dracula is not as iconic as Max Shreck's Count Orlok, but comes off as more complex; a predatory creature wearing a more, or less, human appearance, his eyes, locked on to their prey, guiding his physical mannerisms, too. Isabelle Adjani is a haunted Lucy, and Bruno Ganz is Harker, completely overcome by his encounter with Dracula. The score by Popol Vue has a fairy tale quality to it, and some of is seems to be echoed in this year's horror stand out, Hereditary.

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