They don’t make ’em like they used to, something that is certainly true of horror movies, but fans of the genre and vampires in particular are to be whisked back to the old days with a remake of the 1922 classic Nosferatu.
Based on the Dracula story, this silent black-and-white chiller, directed by F.W. Murnau, still packs an unnerving punch – no mean feat for a film that first saw the light of day over 90 years ago!
Jeff Robinov‘s Studio 8 are overseeing the project and have chosen The Witch writer and director Robert Eggers to cast a similar spell with the creepy tale of Count Orlok. Producing are Jay Van Hay and Lars Knudsen, who also worked on The Witch as well as Beginners.
The runaway success of Nosferatu saw Murnau make the move to Hollywood a few years later, but he was tragically killed in a car crash in 1931 before he had time to realise his enormous potential. However, his place in history was already sealed as the director of the first major adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s novel, the first genuinely scary movie, and possibly the most groundbreaking film of all-time.
In this current craze of reboots, it’s easy to bemoan the fact that Tinseltown sees fit to tamper with masterpieces the rest of us consider sacred. On the surface, Nosferatu falls into that bracket, but it’s been a while since we had a half-decent movie in the true Transylvanian tradition, so why not?
There have been two attempts to emulate Nosferatu in the past. The first came with Werner Herzog‘s loose reworking in 1979, which wasn’t a bad effort but it hardly set the world alight. 2000’s Shadow of the Vampire told a fictional version of the making of the original, based on the notion that Max Schreck (who played the title role in the original) was cast due to him actually being a vampire – now that would be spooky.
Most eerie of all is the recent news that two thieves stole the head of Murnau from his grave in Stahnsdorf, Germany, possibly as part of some bizarre occult ritual. If that’s not original material for a film, I don’t know what is!