NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE serves as a direct remake to F.W. Murnau's original, and retains much of the same German Expressionist stylism while offering a new twist on the Stoker legend. Nosferatu serves as a physical embodiment of the plague, and his arrival in Wismar marks the beginning of the end for the small town. The Count bears a close resemblance to the rats that he carries with him, with Klaus Kinski's portrayal displaying the same haunting visage and mannerisms that Max Schreck had created fifty years earlier. Unlike Schreck, Kinski offers a morose and pitiful creature that has been forced to endure countless centuries alone, which is told through his sullen expressions and deep set eyes. In this rendition, we find an unlikely hero in the reluctant Lucy, who finds the world crumbling around her as the city succumbs to the plague and her betrothed Jonathan returns from Transylvania having forgotten all that he loved. Isabelle Adjani is stunningly beautiful with flawless features, and the stark contrasts of her make-up design placed within the dreary settings make her almost as ghost-like and surreal as Nosferatu himself. There are numerous haunting scenes of empty streets, dilapidated castles, and punch drunk plague victims that all contribute to the dreamy atmosphere and mood of the entire film. In the end, the film feels like a unique bridge between the Expressionism of the original and the depressing realism Jean Rollin brought to the genre in France. It is a dark and depressing Dracula entry that serves as a solid watch!
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