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Nosferatu the Vampyre(Nosferatu - Phantom der Nacht)

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West Germany, France · 1979
Rated PG · 1h 47m
Director Werner Herzog
Starring Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor
Genre Drama, Horror

Jonathan Harker, a real estate agent, goes to Transylvania to visit the mysterious Count Dracula and formalize the purchase of a property. Once Jonathan is caught under his evil spell, Dracula travels to Wismar where he meets Jonathan's wife, Lucy, as a plague spreads through the town.

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Time Out by

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.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Herzog’s idiosyncratic horror classic remains a vital conversation between two distinct generations of brilliant German filmmakers.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

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.


Washington Post by Gary Arnold

Herzog has nothing of lasting value to offer the vampire tradition. His Nosferatu is at best unintentional, fitfully risible camp.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

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.


Total Film by James Mottram

Madness and death hang over Herzog’s Wagner-scored vision like a black cloud, while Kinski adds much poignancy to Dracula, the lonely immortal.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

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.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

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.

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