The Good, The Bad, and the Critic

Review: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror

F.W. Murnau’s 1922 classic Nosferatu–starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok—portrays a merciless vampire interested in a new castle to lure his victims to and, more importantly, lusts after the blood of his real estate agent’s wife.

A haunting experience, Murnau takes you to a place where madness lurks around every corner and your worst nightmares become reality. The film is about all the things mankind has worried about: death, insanity, disease, and war. It is shocking yet brilliant.

Unlike Bela Lugosi, who plays a flamboyant vampire in Tod Browning’s 1931 version of Bram Stroker’s novel, Schreck plays the vampire like a rabid creature filled with hunger and hate. He is a remorseless predator that should exist only in the bowels of hell.

Nosferatu is filled with sexual undertones – however, the sexuality presented in Nosferatu is rather terrifying. It holds us in our fear of AIDS and rape, both of which remain present in our modern society. The vampire is an unholy being who has desires that stretch far beyond finding a mate. It stalks after the innocent and those who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Though it’s full of despair, Nosferatu is a classic that certainly stands the test of time. See it immediately.


Check out more of Michael’s reviews at, and catch a screening of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror at Cinematheque (100 Arthur Street) on Friday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m., as well as Feb. 1 at 9 p.m., Feb. 5 at 7 p.m., and Feb. 6 at 9 p.m.