Understanding the Groundbreakingly Gothic 'Nosferatu'

Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens

The horror here is as relevant Murnau as ever.

F. W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu became one of cinema’s first masterpieces and in so doing, laid the groundwork for years of Gothic interpretation on screen.

Its horror isn’t explicitly expressionistic, but more in line with the imagery of Gothic literature. Reinventing vampires wasn’t enough for the film (before Nosferatu, sunlight didn’t kill vampires!), but reinventing the landscape of horror.

The psychology of its character weren’t necessarily expressed through the sets and lighting of the film, but these things did contribute to an increasing atmosphere of tension and a setting of unease. One Hundred Years of Cinema explains in this video how Nosferatu is more than its single film and how its influence continues to be felt almost a century since its release.

Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).