David Denby

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 152

Werner Herzog's Nosferatu is extraordinarily beautiful and also creepy beyond belief. Like F. W. Murnau,… the young German director has made not a conventional horror film (there are no shocks) but an anguished poem of death. The colors are nightmare blue-black, the mood sepulchral and hushed. Herzog sustains long stretches...

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Werner Herzog's Nosferatu is extraordinarily beautiful and also creepy beyond belief. Like F. W. Murnau,… the young German director has made not a conventional horror film (there are no shocks) but an anguished poem of death. The colors are nightmare blue-black, the mood sepulchral and hushed. Herzog sustains long stretches of imagery that work on the imagination and the emotions through vile suggestion rather than explicit enactment…. As always, Herzog holds his actors in static, sculptured poses; his narrative tempo is as poky as ever, his landscapes as placidly sinister. Only this time there's a most explicit reason for everything to be drained of life. Having passed into the realm of myth, Herzog, for once, seems like a realist filmmaker. (p. 89)

David Denby, "Movies: In Praise of Older Women," in New York Magazine (copyright © 1979 by News Group Publications, Inc.; reprinted with the permission of New York Magazine), Vol. 12, No. 41, October 22, 1979, pp. 86, 88-9.∗

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