Friday, October 25, 2013

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Director: E. Elias Merhige

Writer: Steven Katz

Composer: Dan Jones

Starring: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard, Aden Gillett, Nicholas Elliott, Ronan Vibert, Sophie Langevin, Myriam Muller, Milos Hlavac, Marja-Leena Junker, Derek Kueter

More info: IMDb

Tagline: An Unspeakable Horror. A Creative Genius. Captured For Eternity.

Plot: Max Schreck's performance in the classic film Nosferatu has become legendary. What if the reason he was so good is that he really was a vampire? That's the premise of this film, which features director F.W. Murnau so enamored with creating the perfect vampire film that he seeks out an actual member of the undead to play the title role. But when Schreck starts taking more and more advantage of the opportunities to feed he suddenly has, can Murnau come to his senses and destroy him?

My rating:10/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!

This picture is a work of art.  It's a grand slam no matter how you slice it.  Dan Jones' eerie and beautiful score, Steven Katz's intricately clever script, the lighting, performances (every last actor was spot on) and Merhige's masterful direction (What happened to him? He's only done one film, SUSPECT ZERO (2004) since.) I'm mesmerized by this film.  There is so much going on outside of the obvious.  The shot compositions, transitions, etc.  I first caught this upon it's initial theatrical release and it's been one of my favorite horror films ever since.  The recreations and use of footage from the original 1922 film are magnificently handled.  And the ending...Wow!  So powerful and it ties in beautifully with the original Murnau classic. 

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