Nosferatu, not just for Halloween any more

That is one spooky vampire!

That is one spooky vampire!

Zach Hundrieser, Lifestyles Editor

The one thing about November that sucks the hardest of eggs is the fact that all the good horror movies are taken off television. It’s not often you see Killer Klowns from Outer Space while flipping through channels on a regular Sunday evening. But if you’re like me and finding edited versions of the spookiest of the spooky movies occasionally on basic cable isn’t cutting it for you when it comes to a good horror fix, you’ve clicked on the right Clarion story. I guarantee that if you search through your local thrift store, library, Best Buy, or any movie rental store you will find a spooky October classic that can easily become your new November classic.

Flashback to October of 2008. Picture a chubby little fourth grader scurrying out of the local library anxiously gripping an all black dvd case with the word “Nosferatu” plastered on the cover. In case you haven’t figured this out, that fourth grader was in fact yours truly. Growing up I had a borderline frightening obsession with horror movies. I could always appreciate the craftsmanship and hard work it took to complete a nightmare inducing horror film. I always enjoyed that momentary feeling of fear when watching a monster stalk its human prey. But my favorite type of horror films were probably the really cheesy and over the top gory ones.

Cheeseball classics such as Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth, The Ghoulies, Basically every Halloween since Halloween 5: Revenge of Michael Myers, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, and The Gingerdead Man were just a few of many stables of my tacky movie fix. Then there was another side of my horror movie obsession, which was the old black and white horror movies. Watching Boris Karloff rise as Frankenstein or awake from the dead as The Mummy transfixed me, bringing an unfamiliar sense of a completely different kind of terror that I had been accustomed to.

Anyway, the Internet is a hell of a tool, especially with a horror fanatic. One film that I would always cross paths with on my journey to find the perfect horror movie was a black and white German Horror movie based off the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It was titled Nosferatu. I would scan reviews of it from time to time, with critics calling it “horrifying” and “terrorizing” I thought nothing of it for some strange reason. In retrospect, I believe it was because I was actually too scared to watch it. After recognizing the now infamous Count Orlok on an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, I had decided that it was time I checked out this flick.

I headed down to the local library on one October evening to find some old horror gems I could check out. As I scanned the shelves of the giant case full of movies, coming across classics such as the original King Kong and Mummy, my eye stopped at the case with Nosferatu scratched across the side of the case. With a little sense of familiarity with the title, I figured I’d check it out and give my own verdict on it’s content. As recounted before, I hastened out of library with Nosferatu hidden under my arm. Little did I know, I was about to witness one of the most disturbing sights my virgin eyes have seen at that point.

When I infiltrated my empty household, I rushed over to the kitchen to begin my almost satanic horror movie ritual. I poured myself a tall heaping glass of Sunny Delight, popped only the illest of popcorn, and proceeded to microwave excess butter to coat over my popcorn, like a warm blanket of deliciousness. After this ritual, I prepared myself to be spooked as I grabbed the freshest of fresh blankets (even more Fresh than the Prince of Bel-Air) out of the dryer and charged to my room with the necessary equipment to begin the viewing of the so called spooky movie.

So I watched it, and boy I’ll tell ya I was spooked outta my mind. The silent film followed the tale of common German man Thomas Hutter, who is sent to Transylvania as mysterious client Count Orlok is interested in purchasing a home in the town of Wisbourg. When Thomas Hutter travels to Count Orlok’s castle to have him sign the documents, he finds himself spending the night. That’s when the plot picks up, and the spookiness ensues.

Of course I’m going to stop there, because I don’t want to ruin any of the mighty spookiness that will baffle you. I will however, elaborate on how the film relies on the feeling of suspense. The moment you see Count Orlok, you realise something is up. You also know that at some point, things are going to go south real fast, you just don’t know when. So when you see clues and hints that Count Orlok isn’t what he seems to be, it just adds tension to the already streinous flow of the anxiety river.

In my eyes, that’s what a horror movie should goal for. I could name a ton of examples of horror movies that came out between the years of 2005 and 2012 that could really use more suspense than relying on a cheap scare that any film director can accomplish. When a movie scares you by having a ghoul pop out on the screen out of the random or depicting a repugnant death, it’s just like “Ok, that’s cool.” Then when you have a movie building up suspense and quietly leading to a good scare it’s like “Ok, that’s even coole- Ahhhh Kelly Clarkson!”

To get back on track, Nosferatu’s soundtrack also stamped itself onto my hippocampus. It’s uncanny horns and brass had me cowering at points, specifically at the scene where Count Orlok’s shadow is being cast over his sleeping prey. The soundtrack is cheery at points, but it seems at the right times it’s able to transfer the unnatural sights into an even more eerie sound.

In conclusion, Nosferatu proves to be a movie that has affected me and many others after being in circulation for over ninety years. It also proves itself to be a movie that is timeless that can still put a good scare into people, showing that suspense and true horror is a lasting and maybe even eternal entity on it’s own. 10 stars out of 10. Spooky.