Dracula and Nosfertu Comparative
In 1979 after countless film adaptations, the story of Dracula found itself in the hands of Werner Herzog, a German film maker, who was determined to bring life into a tale already told. What began as a re-imagining of the classic silent film, Nosferatu, soon became a work of art of its own. Nosferatu The Vampyre was an excellent adaptation of the novel Dracula that not only stayed true to its source material, but also explored a different side of the iconic vampire. It consistently plays homage to its predecessor yet also rises above being a mere remake and becomes one the best Dracula films ver made.
Herzog proved his talent in film making by creating a film with breathtaking cinematography and an awe inspiring score. The shots of the dark caves of Transylvania combined with the eerie music of composer Popol Vuh create a bone chilling feeling that is often found in Bram Stoker’s novel.
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The incarnation of Dracula found in Nosferatu is quite the departure from his charming novel counterpart. He is as monstrous on the outside as he is on the outside and he expresses a desperation for love. Nosferatu is a version of Bram Stoker that has been stripped down to its ore instead of being over dramatized.
By eliminating some of the elements withing the book , you are left with a great piece of story telling that gives the viewers an in depth look into Dracula’s grim world. An art film is nothing without a carefully orchestrated score complimenting a set of striking visuals. Nosferatu is film know for its artistic appeal. The lack of dialogue in the film allows the imagery to speak for itself while the score highlights the horror. “The road grew more level and we appeared to fly along. Then the mountains seemed o come nearer to us on each side and frown down down upon us; we were entering the Borgo Pass. (Stoker, 18) Bram Stoker made a point of writing scenery in extreme detail and giving the reader a bridge into the setting presented in the book. The moment the daunting music played during the grim Journey to the castle, it is apparent that Bram Stokers descriptive writing was coming to life. Herzog had a film with visuals so powerful, the audience could feel the emotion. The scene where Lucy tries to warn the towns people of Dracula leaks distress. The viewer is able to feel Lucy’s frustration as she is ignored by those she tries to warn. Her obvious fear and stress is really shown with the camera angles in that scene.
The viewer almost feels as if they are the one trying to warn everyone of the vampire and not Lucy. When a film has the ability to touch peoples emotions as much as a novel, it is a success. The director took the descriptive imagery in the novel and allowed itself to manifest on screen. The strong and beautiful visuals combined with music that fits every scene truly compliments Herzog’s version of the legendary vampire. Bram Stoker’s villainous character is not someone who is considered one dimensional. Dracula is a character who can be interpreted in many different ways.
Herzog allowed Dracula to evolve into a character who was deprived of humanity to a point of madness. His loneliness soon drives him to become fixated on Lucy and request that sne love him Just as sne loves Jonathan. In the novel Dracula believes himself to be a superior creature among men, while in the film he is fully aware he is no more than a monster of sun down. The original incarnation of Dracula from the ovel was presented as a charming gentleman with a calm demeanour and eloquent speech. He was very polite to Jonathan and even seemed to have a level of respect for him.
However behind his facade of humanity was a closet filled to the brim with skeletons. His dark secrets add to the horror and suspense of the novel. One of the greatest things about Dracula is the mystery that surrounds him. It is this mystery that allows adaptations like Nosferatu to demonstrate the other sides of Dracula. “The absence of love is the most abject pain,” said the Count in the film, a quote that hows Just how tortured he was by loneliness. His humanity may appear to be as non existent as his reflection, but he still longs to be loved.
When a novel is adapted into a film, changes must be made to accommodate the premise and tone of said film. Werner Herzog’s vision for Nosferatu involved eliminating characters and creating a new ending. Herzog took the Gothic novel and stripped it down to its core, allowing a broken creature to emerge. By eliminating elements such as the three females vampires, Count Dracula was further proved to be a monster condemned to a life solitude. In the novel, Dracula’s relationship with the three vampires allowed the reader to understand Dracula’s power over people and vampires alike.
The film however proves that he is not only shunned by humanity, but is also a loner amongst the supernatural. One of the biggest changes made to the novel was the fate of Jonathan Harker. In the novel he succeeded against the Count and went on to live a happy life with Mina. Nosferatu ignores his pleasant ending provides him with a much darker fate. Harker is found to have become a vampire Just after the death of his love at the hands of Dracula. Harker’s transformation into a vampire seemed to act as a last solemn laugh from Dracula.
Lucy could not love such a horrid creature as the Count, but little did she know that her beloved was slowly Joining the undead before her own eyes. It is only after the Count dies that the torch of the undead is passed on and Jonathan becomes a phantom of the night. Dracula managed to escape a life of monstrosity only for Harker to enter one. Making major changes to the novels original plot did not condemn the film. Instead is revitalized it. A story was brought forward that ombined the Gothic horror of Dracula, the creepy vision of the original Nosferatu and the artistic flare of Werner Herzog.
The film Nosferatu brings a certain energy to the famous story of Dracula. Herzog crafted a film that was original and artistic, but still captured the essence of the iconic vampire. Bram Stoker’s writing came to life on screen through a set of impassioned visuals and an impressive score. The lack of dialogue present allowed the film to speak for itself as well as pay homage to the original Nosferatu. The Dracula that is present in the film is an isolated creature who struggles with an nternal battle, his need for love versus his lust for blood.
This incarnation explored a side of Dracula that was dark and sickly, a departure from his confident and sadistic novel counterpart. The story of Dracula underwent a drastic transformation when it was being adapted into Nosferatu. Characters were eliminated and plot points torgotten as Herzog conceived a story that was tocused on the perils ot being a vampire as well as the struggles of the Harkers. From start to finish, Nosferatu is a story that can make a viewer feel sympathetic towards Dracula, yet also wish for his demise.