That: Vampire and Ridiculous German Accents Essay

Submitted By skylar500
Words: 517
Pages: 3

he premise of the film, to give credit where credit is due, is truly ingenious and downright brilliant. In Merhige's fictionalized account of the story, it turns out that Schreck is not an actor at all, but a real vampire (an idea which, if you've seen the original, does not seem that far-fetched). Murnau, insanely obsessed with creating the most realistic vampire possible, strikes a devil's bargain with the fiendish Schreck: in return for his services and cooperation during the making of the film, Murnau will offer him the neck of the movie's leading-lady (Catherine McCormack). As the shoot progresses and Schreck wreaks havoc through Murnau's production, a battle of wits between the two of them ensues, and we are asked to wonder which one is the real monster. Yet despite the story's great potential and a strong first half, Shadow is ultimately something of a mish-mashed mess.

Beginning with the opening credits, Merhige makes one thing straight about his movie: he has consciously made it in the expressionistic style of Murnau himself. Now, does this account for over-the-top performances and ridiculous German accents? Maybe, maybe not. In fact, nothing is very clear about this movie, which is the main reason it has critics divided about it. Is it a comedy, a horror-film, or both? Is its essay on obsession and the metaphor of artist as vampire meant to be taken seriously? As is the case with Nosferatu itself, important questions like these are left for the viewer to answer. .

Going for it, the film has the incredible performance of Dafoe and that of Eddie Izzard as the movie's co-star (their hilarious scenes together are the best thing in the film). The comedy is also always right on-target, playing off the fact that everyone except Murnau thinks the vampire is an obsessive method-actor who studied under Stanislawski. The production design is amazing as well, taking us back to a time where filmmaking was more the work of mad-scientists than…