Black & White
A contagious picture...
Unofficially based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu takes some liberties over the original material. Some of them are budgetary and some can be attributed to the expressionist approach. Of course, this being a silent film that makes use of many title cards, emotions is mostly conveyed through body language and not so much through felt words.
It is hard to imagine a real human being hides behind this vampire disguise, the performance ranging from strangely awkward to terrifyingly precise. While the technique is minimal, the casting, costumes and ambiance blend well together. The written dialogue is romanced and poetic, though the narrative and the pace feel obstructed because the story is so dense.
It’s slow in parts but it has an interesting tale to tell and doesn't rely on padding. It just takes its time. Through it all, the sets are never neglected. They are claustrophobic, majestic. The castle is a strong presence, with its dirty texture and its uneven architecture. This backdrop contributes to making Orlok visually threatening and complements a great character that goes by many names...