Volume 3, Issue 4 University of Houston
Shadow of the Vampire feeds the blood thirst for a good horror flick
Shadow of the Vampire
Starring: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Eddie Izzard
4 out of 5 stars
By Jack Glauser
Dracula 2000, eat your heart out.
Starring John Malkovich, Shadow of the Vampire is the newest addition to the overdone horror genre. It's a beautiful piece of work with an original twist.
The current film is based on the 1930s' release of the German film Nosferatu (The Un-Dead). Director E. Elias Merhige does a good job with a movie that's mostly about the making of a horror film.
The wife of Bram Stoker is asked to make a recreation of her husband's famous novel Dracula. Malkovich, who plays the director, is forced to change the name and style of the film. Malkovich then finds a vampire to end all vampires: Count Orvis, (Willem Dafoe).
Dafoe's portrayal of the vampire, basing the character's actions on natural fear rather than common horror, is well done to say the least. No one knows exactly from where the count hails.
The film's dialogue is its strongest point. It shows that a good film doesn't need a lot of action, car chases or explosions to be good. Instead of big actors and a big budget, all one needs are eloquent words strung together -- something this film does perfectly.
Malkovich's dialogue makes him omnipotent, as though he were a symphony conductor. Dafoe only adds an eerie simplicity to his lines, giving his character a supernatural demeanor.
In general, Shadow of the Vampire is a good, solid film. The time is right for this kind of horror flick. It surpasses cheesy horror films that "try" to scare the audience.
Written by Steven Katz, this is a sort of horror film that sets off
a different kind of attraction. It gives vampire films recognition. If
you like vampire flicks, this one is sure to be right up your alley. Rent
the original Nosferatu, then see this movie to add to the history
and myth of the genre.
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