Your Wife Has a Lovely Neck? Back up, Buddy.

Nosferatu is on Netflix. The original one, not the most recent update (though I liked that one a lot). This one has been spit-shined and fixed up as best as they can for a movie that’s almost 100 years old, complete with a re-recording of the symphonic soundtrack. It’s pretty legit.

The movie is based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and Nosferatu is a simplified version of the book (with names changed, to make it more German). A man named Hutter is sent to the wilds of eastern Europe to negotiate the sale of a house back in his hometown of Wisborg to the spooky Count Orlok. When he arrives, he realizes that Orlok is a vampire, and he must escape before he is destroyed by Orlok’s evil. Though Hutter gets away, Orlok begins his journey to Wisborg, bringing death and disease with him. Finally, Hutter’s young wife Ellen sacrifices herself, distracting the vampire with her own blood until the sun rises and Orlok dies.

Though I actually preferred the ending of the updated Nosferatu, there’s some real creepiness to this one. It’s German expressionism at its finest, maybe only second to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (though infinitely easier to understand). Even the intensely obvious stop-motion is spooky as hell. It doesn’t quite have the subtlety of the novel, mostly because of the necessary overacting in silent movies, but it’s still chilling and fun.

(No appearance of the hash-slinging slasher…but it’s fun that Spongebob references Nosferatu anyway, as in the gif above).

 

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