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Shadow of the Vampire

1 rating: 3.0
Cult Movies and Horror movie

Clever, engaging, and boosted by the sublime casting of Willem Dafoe asNosferatuactor Max Schreck,Shadow of the Vampireis a film full of good ideas that are only partially developed. Its premise is ripe with possibilities, but the movie's too slight … see full wiki

Genre: Cult Movies, Horror
1 review about Shadow of the Vampire

Satisfying, but not a good stand-in for the original

  • Dec 24, 2004
This film is candy for film lovers, especially for those like myself who can't get enough of the early silent cinema. An imaginative and creative reconstruction of the filming of the film classic "Nosferatu," the film is very entertaining and inventive, and shouldn't disappoint any viewer. But I don't think it would hold the same level of fascination for someone who hadn't already been captivated by the original.

My only complaint, made with the understanding that not every film can satisfy every expectation, and that the film works well enough within its own plan, is that by portraying Max Schreck as a "real" vampire, we don't get to see anything about the "real" Max Schreck who I imagine to be fascinating in his own right. The film also does not shed much light on the question why this film is horrifying on its own, at least for the time in which it was made, because it feels the need to set up the scariness of the film for a contemporary audience by portraying Mr. Schreck as if he really were a strange and scary character in "real" life, i.e. as if he weren't a good actor, who happened to have found a role for which he was ideal. Now to say he is a good actor may surprise some who find his performance over the top -- but his performance really was a powerful one for the day in which it was made. It is the slow deliberateness, and singularity of purpose, that is frightening; today as film goers we tend to lack the imagination required to find this performance powerful, and want instead violence and sudden movements.

What I find most interesting about older films like Nosferatu one is that they achieve their effects using very different techniques than are used in contemporary horror films -- but that if you put yourself in the right frame of mind you can discover yourself feeling something like what one might expect a contemporary of the film to have felt. While "Shadow" succeeds on one level, as a contemporary film that replaces horror with gleeful campiness, it manages to keep the viewer at a distance from the horror of the original.

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October 02, 2010
The original does its own job well enough. I like the fact that this flick takes of such a silly and unexpected premise, but I get what you'r saying.
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