Nosferatu (1922) – By Duane L. Martin

Is there anyone who hasn’t at least heard of F. W. Murnau’s iconic horror film, Nosferatu? Max Schreck’s portrayal of the ultimate creature of the night is about as iconic as you can possibly get, and people who’ve never seen the movie, have probably seen the character from time to time.

Kino Lorber released this film long ago on DVD, but now they’ve given it the full blu-ray treatment, and let me tell you, it looks absolutely spectacular.

For those who haven’t seen it, I’m betting you’ve seen Bela Lugosi’s Dracula film. Well, its a very similar story, just with different character names and a few other differences. They’re both based off of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but there are differences between the two in how the story is played out.

I think the only real problem I’ve ever had with this film, is that it’s just too long for the amount of story content. There are countless scenes in this film that are just stretched out needlessly, and by needlessly, I mean that whatever’s going on in them required only a short bit of film time, yet ended up getting far more screen time than necessary.

Now, that’s not to say the film is bad, because it isn’t. It’s actually a really creepy and stunningly atmospheric film, but that said, it does get slow at times.

Another big difference between the vampire in this film, and the one in Lugosi’s film, is that this one isn’t dapper and charming. The one in this film really looks like some kind of a freakishly undead thing. Just the way he moves is enough to send shivers up your spine, and the fact that it’s a silent film just adds to the creepiness of it all.

This blu-ray release of the film has been newly mastered in HD from the archival 35mm restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung. Disc one contains English intertitles, while disc two contains the original German intertitles with English subtitles. It also has Hans Erdmann’s original 1922 score in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or 2.0 stereo. There’s also a 52 minute documentary on the making of Nosferatu and lengthy excerpts from other films by F. W. Murnau and an image gallery.

Is this the best silent film ever made? No, absolutely not, but when it comes to silent horror and giving the viewer that shiver up the spine sense of creepiness, this film is right up there with the best of them. Do yourself a favor and make sure you add this one to your film collection if you don’t already have it.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can visit its page on the Kino Lorber website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the blu-ray or DVD from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.