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“Nosferatu” Trailer- Review and Expectations

The first trailer for the upcoming “Nosferatu” trailer is out. How does it hold up to the original? Will it be this years scariest movie?

Credit: Focus Features

At long last, a good vampire movie. It’s been far too long.

Robert Eggers is one of the most interesting directors working today. His gothic style and dark, muted color palette have become staples in the modern horror landscape since he debuted in 2015. While his previous films have mostly been original works, such as The Northman and The Lighthouse, his upcoming film, Nosferatu, is actually a new version of a much, much older film.

Nosfera-WHO?

For those unaware, Nosferatu is the name of a 1922 German silent expressionist horror film (say that three times fast) that is noteworthy for being the first film adaptation of Dracula, albeit unofficially. The original film, while certainly dated in its own way, has enough to offer to make it a compelling watch in its own right.

The original film thrives when it focuses on atmosphere. What Nosferatu really is is the story of Dracula before it was swallowed up in the cultural zeitgeist. This is a vampire story from long before the days of Hotel Transylvania and the like. It really is as close to portraying vampires, Dracula specifically, before the rot and stereotypes set in. It’s a film that truly is in genuine awe, and perhaps in genuine  fear, of its source material.

Of course, nowadays the word Nosferatu is more likely to conjure up images of Spongebob than a century old horror movie from the other side of the world. Who was flickering the lights? The Germans.

Nosferatu as he appeared in Spongebob. Credit: Nickelodeon

I suppose I must briefly mention the first remake of Nosferatu. In 1979, director Werner Herzog (from The Mandalorian) made Nosferatu the Vampyre. It mainly fleshes out its characters, since dialogue was more of an option this time around. While it still has moments of unease, the overall product leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. Herzog missed the boat a bit with it.

New Vamps On The Block

In comparison, everything about this upcoming remake has set it up for success. Eggers has already demonstrated his ability to expertly create the suitable eerie atmosphere required for this project. 2019’s The Lighthouse was filmed in a similarly stark black and white, with a similarly claustrophobic aspect ratio. The Witch, the director’s debut back in 2015, saw him dip into the directly supernatural, as well as committing to period accuracy- the film mostly used natural lighting, rather than electricity. 

The trailer for the upcoming remake (which can be watched here)combines aspects of both of these films, utilizing vintage gothic stylings and period piece sensibilities to create the perfect atmosphere for this project. There’s one shot in the trailer, showing a dark, shadowy hand creeping over a small town (presumably Wisborg, where the original film was set) that particularly impresses. 

The vampires hand reaching across town. Credit: Focus Features

Another thing this trailer does extremely well is giving off the feeling of the film without spoiling much. While pretty much everyone knows what they’re getting into with Nosferatu– as mentioned earlier, it literally is just Dracula– the trailer presents the mood and tone and character without spoiling anything. These days, trailers seem to reveal everything, so it’s wonderful to have something different from that for a change. 

Characters Galore!

We do get glimpses of some of the main cast for the film in the trailer as well. The trailer starts with Lily Rose Depp as the female lead, and the trailer’s use of her implies that she will be focused on significantly more than both films that came before it. We also see Nicholas Hoult and Willem Dafoe, who portrays a vampire expert character. Ironically, Dafoe also appeared in Shadow of the Vampire, a film about the making of the original 1920s film.

Willem Dafoe in the trailer for Nosferatu. Credit: Focus Features

What the trailer does not show, however, is a full look at the real star of the show. Bill Skarsgård plays the fearsome Count Orlok (the Nosferatu version of Dracula). Look at this guy:

Max Schreck as Count Orloff in the original Nosferatu (1922). Credit: Prana Film.

This isn’t anything like we would expect Dracula, or a Dracula stand in, to look like. Where is the slick black hair and cape combo we’ve come to expect? Where’s his thick Hungarian accent? Does he say “blah blah blah?” Again, this is a vampire before the stereotypes… and arguably, is more terrifying for that very reason.

Our New Vampire

The new film has made the choice to keep our title character in the shadows (literally) for the time being. From the one, very brief, incredibly dim shot that we’re given of the former Pennywise actor, it already seems like we’re getting a different look from anything we have seen from this character.

Our first look at the vampire in the remake of Nosferatu. Credit: Focus Features.

Gone seems to be the signature bald vampire from the original and the first remake. Similarly, this film does not appear to use a more traditional Dracula look. Instead, we are given a shot of a shrouded figure with lengthy, stringy hair. I for one would not be shocked if they don’t show Skarsgård’s look at all before the release of the movie. It would make seeing him in the film for the first time in the theater so shocking and cool. Unless the design looks bad. Then I guess I’ll just cry about it.

Final Thoughts

This has been a strong year for horror. Everything’s been getting a shot, from the experimental In A Violent Nature to the mind bending I Saw the TV Glow to the goofy and ridiculous, like Abigail and Winnie The Pooh Blood and Honey 2. Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu is poised to be a brilliant cap on an amazingly spooky year for movies. 

And hey, if you are interested in horror (which, let’s be honest, you made it this far), you can can read this article on underrated horror films to kick your summer off!

Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu remake releases in theaters on December 25th, 2024. Merry early Christmas!

Written By

Danny Krastek is an award winning writer, director, on air DJ and film critic attending college at Montclair State University.

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