Vampires in Movies

By: Pobert II Smith

One of those genres are monster movies, which offer a sense of suspense and fear to the audience who is deeply mesmerized by what is happening on the giant screen. This research paper will focus on only one kind of monster who invaded the many movie screens around the world for ages; the mysterious vampires. I will mostly talk about three films in particular : « Nosferatu » made by F.W Murnau, « Dracula » made by Tod Browning and « Bram Stoker’s Dracula » made by Francis Ford Coppola, which I think are great vampire movies, but I will also briefly talk about what has been made lately in Hollywood on vampires.

But before giving a description of those movies, one has to know what defines a vampire persona. Though each vampire movies have a different portrayal of their main character, because each filmmaker has a different version as to what the vampire should look like and in what setting should he be placed, they shared a lot of similar characteristics. According to the book « The Vampire Film » by James Ursini, a vampire is someone « with a tapering face, sharp, shining teeth, an abundance of thick hair, a peculiar voice and expression and lastly, a typical odour that is usually bad. »Although vampires have unattractive physical attributes, they have this incredible charisma and strength that allows them to have the power to change themselves into bats and to catch their « prays » easily. Other attributes linked to vampires have been invented by 19th and 20th-century filmmakers and writers such as Bram Stoker like the vampire’s inability to be under the sun and that a vampire must be killed with a stake through his heart or by putting a cross on him.

First of all, it is important to talk about « Nosferatu » by F.W Murnau, which was one of the first film adaptations of Bram Stoker’s « Dracula ». This movie, made in 1922 in Germany, still remains one of the most imaginative vampire movies of all-time. What makes this movie so original is its different approach to Bram Stoker’s novel. The characters’ names are changed; Dracula becomes « Orlock », Jonathan Harker becomes « Waldemar Hutter », Mina becomes « Ellen Hutter », and so on. The setting is somewhat different, especially when Nosferatu goes to Bremen in Germany instead of going to London as described in Stoker’s version. The way Murnau portrayed Dracula is also very different from the hundreds of movies that has been made on that monster. Usually, they have more human-like attributes except when the night comes, but in « Nosferatu », the vampire looks like a disgusting figure with pointed claws, teeth and nose and looks more of a zombie rather than a human figure. The stylistic of this movie is also different from what we often see in those kind of movies. The several filmmakers who have done adaptations of Stoker’s novel have used a romantic feeling in their movies; the vampire is more handsome and gentle, the settings are filled with beautiful houses and landscapes that make you think that you may be in a Transylvanian royal family mansion. Murnau has decided though to include a more creepy feeling in his movie. As written on the Internet Movie Database website, « The castle itself is pointy on an abrupt hill. It is also decrepit and foreboding in a way that suggests death like the interior of a wooden crypt. »This movie resembles in a way to « The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari »,because when you see both movies of the German cinema of the 1920’s, you are just amazed by what you see and you ask yourself how those directors could have though of something so strange and imaginative like that. Bram Stoker’s widow saw in this movie a sense of plagiarism to this her late husband’s novel, so she brought court action to the production. She did get the film negatives and destroyed them but luckily, some versions of this movie were still on other people’s hands and film lovers got to see this incredible masterpiece over and over again. About the director of « Nosferatu », he was born in Germany in 1889 and he died in Hollywood in 1931. He was already fascinated by Shakespeare and Nietzche at a young age, so he studied Philosophy and Art History in Germany. His filmography includes movies such as « Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde » in 1920, « Tartuffe » in1925, « Faust » in 1926 and « Sunrise » in 1927, for which he won several Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and « Unique and Artistic Picture ».

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Robert Smith works as movie reviewer in one of the agencies. If you want to find movies you can do it visiting the site with the finest collection of movies and you also can download movies online form this site.

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