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Vampyr1932

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  • 4.2
Director Carl Theodor Dreyer fuses fantasy and reality in this landmark tale, which ranks among cinema's greatest horror movies. Holiday reveler Allan Gray (Julian West) takes a room in an eerie European village inn and is awakened when an elderly gent lets himself in, leaving a parcel inscribed, "To be opened in the event of my death." Gray later witnesses the man's murder, opens the package and realizes a supernatural killer is on the loose.

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3 members like this review

A good candidate for the eeriest vampire story ever filmed. It's no matinee chiller. This slow German film is more a 4 AM nightmare that sometimes seems to barely make sense, but, as with all dreams, you go with it anyway. An innocent traveler in a small village inn gets wrapped up in a mystery. From there, he heads out into the night to investigate and finds himself in an Expressionist netherworld where shadows crawl the walls and surrealism rules. Vampires, ghosts, dying girls, dreams, burials and creepy doctors with vials of poison follow. This was originally intended to be a silent film and it shows. The dialogue is sparse and barely matters when it is spoken. Most of the information we need is relayed via old-fashioned title cards and visual economy. The uniquely fuzzy and weathered look of the film is also entirely intentional. Carl Dreyer had cinematographer Rudolph Mate (who later became a director in his own right) shoot the whole movie through a thin layer of gauze for maximum otherworldiness.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (9)

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top reviewer

A good candidate for the eeriest vampire story ever filmed. It's no matinee chiller. This slow German film is more a 4 AM nightmare that sometimes seems to barely make sense, but, as with all dreams, you go with it anyway. An innocent traveler in a small village inn gets wrapped up in a mystery. From there, he heads out into the night to investigate and finds himself in an Expressionist netherworld where shadows crawl the walls and surrealism rules. Vampires, ghosts, dying girls, dreams, burials and creepy doctors with vials of poison follow. This was originally intended to be a silent film and it shows. The dialogue is sparse and barely matters when it is spoken. Most of the information we need is relayed via old-fashioned title cards and visual economy. The uniquely fuzzy and weathered look of the film is also entirely intentional. Carl Dreyer had cinematographer Rudolph Mate (who later became a director in his own right) shoot the whole movie through a thin layer of gauze for maximum otherworldiness.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

Any other so-called vampire movie is in dire need of a transfusion from Dryer's monumental, still unmatched masterpiece.

The music, at this viewing, is overbearing, and I wonder how it hews if at all to what may have been original. A pity that the fandor service that makes this work available does not offer information.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

Unsettling, creepy, and enthralling from start to finish. My sense are on high alert every time I watch this film. Every sound is amplified and seems to be coming offscreen. The visuals are soft, fuzzy, at times abstract and disturbing (the POV view from the glass window in a coffin looking out and up at a church as it's being carried is particularly disorienting). The visual effects feel alchemic rather than technical. I just love the experience of watching Vampyr.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

The last thirty minutes of riveting horror make-up for the mostly dull first forty minutes of drama and long shots of open pages of vampire texts and explanatory narrative. Some of the best use of animated shadows I’ve ever seen in a horror movie. Even with all the text and explanations, the story was hard to follow and confusing. Overall, disappointed.

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top reviewer

Vampyr is one bizarre first person subjective tale, if you can call a lack of narrative a tale. There is anxiety, bewilderment, confusion, and curiosity here. Huge plot holes are clearly intended, because Vampyr feeds off of them rather than suffers from. The visuals and atmosphere are pure German cinema. I recommend this film.

Didn't make sense, but was fun to watch.

I can't decide. . . . .artistically rendered or badly told?

From all I've heard I was really disappointed in watching the film...but then all of Dryers film disappoint me.

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top reviewer

WoW, how could you not like THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC? One of the greatest films ever made.

Terrible. Possibly the worst vampire movie I've ever seen.