Tonight I figured I’d jump in a cinematic time machine back to the 1920’s and check out the classic horror film ‘Nosferatu’. This is probably the oldest movie I’ve ever seen, as well as the first silent film. It took a few minutes for me to get into the format of ‘Nosferatu’, with no spoken language, only typed dialogue and a score playing throughout. It was educational for sure, but also helped to show why movies are so timeless. At their core, movies are all about storytelling. We’ve been telling stories for thousands of years, and movies are hardly any different these days than they were then, in their most binary form.
‘Nosferatu’ shows the genesis of so many ideas that filmmakers really fleshed out over the years. For one, horror movies have come along way since then. It’s hard to imagine Jason or Freddy existing without Frankenstein first paving the way all those years ago, just like Frankenstein wouldn’t have been the movie it was without Nosferatu. One of the most important components of the movie is the music, which is the only thing the audience hears the entire time. At times cheerful and innocent, just like the main character ‘Hutter’, and then dark and terrifying once he meets with the mysterious Count Orlok.
Nosferatu was made in a time when people were far more familiar with plays than films, as the plot is structured into acts. The movie is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I’ve never read or actually even seen any adaptations of (maybe I’ll watch one later this summer). The film follows a naive young man (Hutter) who works for a creepy estate broker. He is charged with going to sell a house to the secluded Count Orlok, so he leaves his town, as well as his beautiful young wife, and hits the road. He travels to the counts’ castle, where through a series of escalating events, Hutter discovers that Orlok is a vampire. The story heads back to his families town, where the story concludes in a predictable, but still tragic way.
I was pretty surprised how much I enjoyed watching Nosferatu. While the beginning is jarring for a short-attention spanned millennial asshole like myself, I’m glad I stuck with it. I didn’t really gain anything groundbreaking from watching it, as SO many films are derivations off its original ideas and concepts, but I would recommend it to movie-buffs for sure. Watching Nosferatu is like sitting down with your grandpa and hearing stories about the ‘good old days’. It makes you appreciate the magic and wonder of modern cinema, that we’ve come so far in just 90 years. I can’t wait to look back at ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ as an old man, when all the kids are watching virtual reality movies in their contact lenses. Well, now I’m ranting like a lunatic so I’m gonna shut this lengthy write-up down. Give me a follow if you have a Tumblr, or just keep checking back throughout the summer for an entry (usually) every day. Thanks for reading!