Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

shadowofThe film starts off With F.W. Murnau filming his potential horror masterpiece “Nosferatu”. It tells how F.W. Murnau came to Bram Stoker’s wife for the rights to make “Dracula” into a movie. She rejects their offer so F.W. Murnau plays it smart. He changes the name of the movie from “Dracula” to “Nosferatu”, then he changes the name of the vampire from “Count Dracula” to “Count Orlock”. F.W. Murnau is seen as a genius to his peers and friends.

He’s chosen the person to play the vampire and everyone is wondering who it is. He then introduces Max Shreck played by Willem Dafoe. The crew is very terrified and spooked by Max. But Murnau played by John Malkovich (Of Mice and Men, Con-air) tells them he’s just a brilliant character actor who submerges himself into his character for realism. Soon everyone starts to suspect Max isn’t who Murnau says he is. Where to begin? This was highly praised by critics everywhere. So don’t expect to find something new here. You’re about to read another praiseful review.

This is an excellent film. It’s tones and dimness provide a great mood to this gothic art piece. John Malkovich is excellent as the mad and demented director F.W. Murnau who, throughout the whole movie, bares no remorse or terror towards the victims dying around him or for the vampire, which in the end leaves you to wonder: Who is the real monster in this? The man or the beast? Willem Dafoe is brilliant as Max Shreck and resembles him so much it’s scary. How is it that Willem Dafoe plays a past character, yet is able to create his own character in the process?

This question only proves his greatness as an actor. E. Elias Mehrige is such an excellent director that there isn’t the slightest essence of Hollywood in this movie which proves that there is still good movies being made. The ending is weird and very scary leaving you more spooked by Murnau rather than Shrek. This is highly suggested. The film was too short for a running time of an hour and twenty-one minutes, which didn’t leave time for much emphasis on the characters. We never truly get to learn a whole lot about the characters which seems to make me feel deprived of something. This is a dark, gothic, and creepy film with excellent performances from Malkovich and Willem Dafoe.