There are lovely moments – the Carpathian landscapes are stunning, Kinski’s performance is compellingly vile, and it ends with a stirringly weird, Fellini-esque plague festival. But some of Herzog’s choices are simply confounding: Isabelle Adjani has nothing to do except look pale and worried, Walter Ladengast’s Van Helsing is so decrepit as to border on pastiche, and there’s a grey, plodding quality to the film which sidesteps oppressive, doom-laden inevitability and goes straight to slightly dull.
Stream Nosferatu the Vampyre
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Herzog’s idiosyncratic horror classic remains a vital conversation between two distinct generations of brilliant German filmmakers.
The acting is too eccentric and the narrative drive too weak to satisfy fans of the genre, but Herzog's admirers will find much in the film's animistic landscapes and clusters of visionary imagery.
Herzog has nothing of lasting value to offer the vampire tradition. His Nosferatu is at best unintentional, fitfully risible camp.
A superior horror film that offers a greater sense of disquiet than any other Dracula motion picture. Nosferatu the Vampyre may not be scary in a traditional sense, but it is not easily forgotten.
Madness and death hang over Herzog’s Wagner-scored vision like a black cloud, while Kinski adds much poignancy to Dracula, the lonely immortal.
This is Herzog's journey to the heart of darkness, a film that specifically echoes his earlier offerings The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and his South American odyssey Aguirre, Wrath of God.
Nosferatu the Vampyre cannot be confined to the category of "horror film." It is about dread itself, and how easily the unwary can fall into evil.
Werner Herzog's classic vampire movie Nosferatu will scare the living daylights out of you.