Young traveller Allan Grey arrives in a remote castle and starts seeing weird, inexplicable sights (a man whose shadow has a life of its own, a mysterious scythe-bearing figure tolling a bell, a terrifying dream of his own burial). Things come to a head when one of the daughters of the lord of the castle succumbs to anaemia - or is it something more sinister?
This early sound horror film from master director Carl Theodor Dreyer is much like cinema itself, a world of light and shadows. One that manipulates and utilizes atmosphere and visuals to toy with its viewers. To make indistinguishable from the reality we are present and the fantasy we imagine.
Vampyr is one of the first effective horror films ever made, even more so than the famous Murnau take on the vampire story in Nosferatu from 1922. Most of that may be because of technological advances within the span of those ten years which provided many of the fundamental flaws that Nosferatu suffered from. Vampyr being made in the early era of sound cinema, took on more of the visuals of…
Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr is a disturbing masterpiece of life and death and light and shadow. It's a textbook example of establishing mood and putting fear into the hearts of the audience, and the photography and special effects are still scary as hell and hold up very well. The plot is weak and characterizations are nearly nonexistent, but there are enough sequences of pure terror to keep the film from falling flat.
At the Berlin premiere of Vampyr, Dreyer stated, "I just wanted to make a film different from all other films. I wanted, if you will, to break new ground for the cinema." There is a revolutionary sequence where Allan Gray wanders around a castle and sees all sorts…
What is missing most in 21rst century film-making? Look no further than Dreyer's work for the answer. This is pure cinema (minus the over-reliance of title cards), or, in 1932 terms, an ever-evolving new art form that casts aside familiar characteristics that make up literature and theater and solely relies on film techniques to relay abstract emotions through a montage of images and sound. This is the very essence of the art form. The best silent films were already doing it for 20 years, but films like Vampyr would continue to push the boundaries of sight and sound as abstract art. The result is quite chilling at times, and it'd make a nice European counter-watch to Hollywood's awesome The Old Dark House from the same year.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
So via the imaginative lens of Carl Th. Dreyer, we enter "The Strange Adventure of David Gray'', in which we journey with a young student of the occult to the village of Courtempierre. Strange occurrence's abound as David faces the things of nightmares and fears for his life in the face of a vampire.
'Vampyr' came to fruition as Dreyer's next feature after the much revered ' The Passion of Joan of Arc', right at the tail end of the silent era, one can see the curious blend of both era's in this one film - and boy is it executed effectively. The cinematography is an inspired play on shadows and light, experimental techniques involving reverse shots, superimposition and inspired…
Increíble poder ver una película clásica musicalizada con piano en vivo. Muy padre también los efectos de las sombras. Estaba muy maravillado como para asustarme.
Que ese chavo Carl Theodor Dreyer se apure a dirigir la siguiente, se ve que va a pegar.
La narración me resulta en algunos tramos más confusa y aturullada que onírica, pero todo el aspecto técnico y visual, y esa capacidad que tiene para generar tal atmósfera pesadillesca me fascinó durante los 70 minutos que dura (y que tal vez se quedan cortos en exceso).
Alemana, estrenada en 1932, esta historia sobre una criatura oscura que se vale de un ejército de sombras y es capaz de engatusar al más decente de los vivos para sembrar el horror me resulta también premonitoria sobre el (en aquel momento) futuro próximo de su país. Claro que tal lectura bien podría deberse, simplemente, a cierta deformación profesional del politólogo XD.
Horror of the 'vampyr' distilled into Dreyer's camera and music.
Dream or reality? Dreyer poses the question but then decides he doesn't want to answer it which makes the film even better.
Combining a horizontal pan with a backwards-dolly without a cut: inventing a new syntagm for the language of cinema.
The word “Vampyr” is German for “Vampire” but this isn’t really a vampire film in the sense that most of us are used to. The thrills here are a bit more psychological than that. There is a vampire but its power doesn’t lay in its fangs so much as its ability to terrorize and bewitch a town. The film is not really a paragon of narrative clarity, but in a certain way it draws power from that. You’re never exactly sure what the rules of this curse are or if there is a curse at all, early on you’re led to believe that a lot of it is a manifestation of the protagonist’s fevered imagination. One of the keys to…
Splendid camera-view and Spooky atmosphere, just a few scenes in second part left some question marks on my head.Anyhow,it's a pleasure to experience this Classic Silent Horror tale.Don't skip it.
A very entertaining silent horror film with some masterful cinematography. Slightly superior to Nosferatu .
Una pesadilla filmada, tal cual... Con el plus de unos encuadres y unas composiciones seguro que difíciles de encontrar en el común de los inconscientes.
Visually striking and surreality throughout, this lost me slightly toward the end but in pure filmmaking terms, no wonder it's still celebrated.
This movie isn't very linear, making you pay attention as the film goes on and develops the mood of the film remarkably. It could be so caught up in mood that it forgets to explain some things, but it is a great work of tone and mood. Highly recommended.
Suitably haunting for a Halloween watch. There are some amazingly creepy sequences in this film - the use of shadows is inspired - and Dreyer utilising some wonderful experimental camera effects. A little more narrative focus and I'd have been 100% sold, but never loses its eeriness. Loved it.