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Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror


I’ve recently had the weirdly, wonderful experience of seeing the silent horror film Nosferatu in a live theatre. Three musos provided the atmosphere with background music. The best part was when the guy played on the theremin!

For those of you who don’t know what that is: a theremin is an electronic music instrument by Russian inventor Leon Theremin . It looks a little bit like an aerial. When it is played you do not touch the aerial but wave your hands around it; you’re essentially playing different notes on sound waves.

I have to say: compared to modern horror films Nosferatu is so much better and ahead of its time. I enjoyed the cinematography and the fact that it’s in black and white works in it’s favour. Even though it might seem quite silly to the modern viewer, some scenes still has that creepy element. Behold the eyes and nails. My favourite scenes is when Count Orlok comes up the stairs and reaches out.

I loved the nature scenes: with the flesh-eating flytraps, spider and rats. The film also used stop motion photography. 

The plot of the story is based on Dracula. There was quite a scandal when it first came out. Bram Stoker’s wife sued the studio for plagiarism and have all the copies destroyed. Luckily, some copies survived.

In Nosferatu the vampire is called Count Orlok. ‘Nosferatu’ is the name given to a vampire in the movie.

There are some humerous moments in the film. *Spoilers: When Hutter wakes up he finds two bitemarks on his neck. Later, in a letter to his wife, he refers to the bitemarks as a cause of mosquitoes. Hutter’s employer is secretly in cahoots with Count Orlok and is called Knock. As in Knock, knock who’s there? Also, they used a hyena to portray the werewolf!




In search of…

Today I went off to the library in search of a copy of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein. Apparently “Frankenstein” is not in circulation yet – YET? – and all the copies of “Dracula” are missing. Hmmm, it must be a really special book to be missing then.

My trip to the library also got me thinking – how many people still go to a public building to take out a physical book? How long will libraries still exist? I’m probably the only young adult that still does this.

The thing is… I pretty much grew up in a library. I still remember my first books that I took out was just picture books with a single word printed on them. Then going through the phase of reading books with pictures to books with only words in them. The library I grew up in is like my second home. My escape from reality.

Now I also remember seeing “Dracula” in Exclusive books or was it Graffiti or Bargain Books. I should have bought it…

Now I’m googling it… some of these covers are really disturbing…

frankenstein dracula penguin edition