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Nosferatu (1978)

Sent to the Carpathian mountains to secure a real estate deal, Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) persuades Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski) to buy a house in his hometown of Wismar when he inadvertently reveals a picture of his beloved wife, Lucy (Isabelle Adjani).

Growing increasingly unsettled by the Count’s strange behaviour (such as trying to lick the blood from a fresh cut) Jonathan investigates the Count’s castle and finds him asleep in a coffin.

Jonathan escapes the castle, but the Count follows close behind, eager to arrive at his newly purchased estate and meet Lucy in person.

Remakes of classics can fail badly (Gus Van Sant’s Psycho, for instance) and fearless director Werner Herzog took a risk remaking such a seminal masterpiece as FW Murnau’s silent horror classic Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horrors. Indeed, how could you compete with the iconic Max Schreck as the cadaverous, world-weary vampire?

Herzog recruited the fascinating Klaus Kinski, who plays Dracula as more of a shrivelled old man yearning for love than a fierce blood-thirsty monster. This interpretation of the character gives the film a poetic depth, which along with the trance-like music of German avant-garde band Popul Vuh and gorgeous dreamy landscapes makes the film an entrancing, melancholic fantasy.

The misty landscapes that permeate the film’s cinematography similarly place the viewer within this hypnotic countryside.

nosferatu1979Herzog even went as far as duplicating shots from the 1922 original.

Count Dracula
Klaus Kinski
Lucy Harker
Isabelle Adjani
Jonathan Harker
Bruno Ganz
Dr Van Helsing
Walter Ladengast
Roland Topor
Carsten Bodinus
Dan Van Husen
Jan Groth

Werner Herzog