Vampyr

Vampyr

DVD - 2008 | German
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A young traveler finds a remote castle, and starts seeing mysterious things, only to find that his own nightmares are coming true.
Publisher: [United States] : The Criterion Collection, 2008
ISBN: 9781604650464
160465046X
Branch Call Number: GER MOVIE VAM
Language Note: German dialogue with optional alternate English text or English subtitles
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (74 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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🧛🏻‍♂️ A masterpiece, this is definitely an experimental film. The literal-minded may expect an ordinary, linear vampire flick, and they will be disappointed (see two-star ratings below). It's a horror movie, and has the unreal quality of a nightmare. The use of audio, light and shadow, and camera movement are all unsettling and avant-garde.

c
ClarkHarveyRoth
Sep 02, 2019

The Summer 2019 Vampire Movie Revue crosses many waters & travels back almost a century for this German film directed by an accomplished Dane & set in the spooky French countryside. Much of the vampire narrative was relegated to expository text from a mysterious old book, with close-ups of the pages interspersed with moody, slow scenes of malaise & dread. I was surprised to find that what you'd currently see on cable TV in terms of the habits of vampires & the proper means of their disposal was very recognizable here, although interestingly an iron stake & not a wooden one was prescribed for impaling & killing the revenant where it slept. My favorite sequence & something that set this film apart was Allan Gray's visionary fugue state where he spends quite some time experiencing his own death, & in many ways the entire work is a kind of memento mori. Given this director's talent & style, it's a beautiful & effective one.

n
Nursebob
Nov 03, 2017

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s first talkie was this dark, atmospheric tale of vampires and lost souls wreaking havoc in the French countryside. Although the circuitous storyline often seems to double back on itself there is no denying Dreyer’s eerie sense of style: weird shadows flit about on walls and ceilings, strobe lights flash from stairwells and window panes, and a triumphant sunrise dispels the dank mists from an enchanted forest. At one point a burial is filmed with a macabre coffin cam while in another scene an image of the grim reaper sits patiently by a gloomy river. And Dreyer keeps our perspective off balance the whole time with skewed camera angles and impressionistic sets which seem to waver in and out of existence as if in a nightmare. A largely amateur cast (Grey himself is played by a French-born member of the Russian aristocracy) devilishly emote their way through a sparse script while Dreyer heaps on the effects…reportedly breaking jars of jam in order to attract more dirt and bugs. Nosferatu would feel right at home.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Nov 01, 2017

With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre. The result a chilling film about a student of the occult who encounters supernatural haunts and local evildoers in a village outside Paris is nearly unclassifiable. A host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds creates a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, Vampyr is one of cinema's greatest nightmares.

s
shlby69m
Jun 12, 2017

I just saw this on Retro channel and was mesmerized! Shadows from invisible creatures, beautiful silent characters, lots of silent suspense and his own burial was eye opening. True some confusion in the continuity and a small plot line isn't Oscar worthy yet, for a first time viewer bored with the lustrous, even heartfelt, modern vamp this will probably seem new and exciting. I definitely recommend this for a dark night with a loved one.

d
Derringer
Sep 06, 2015

To be totally honest - I didn't exactly hate 1932's "Vampyr" - But, with that said, it was definitely the sort of vampire movie that actually made the likes of 1972's "Blacula" look almost Oscar-worthy by comparison.

This was certainly one of those dismal horror pictures that was just too wacky and nonsensical to be taken seriously. But, due to it being a German production, the viewer was actually expected to sit there awestruck, believing that what they were viewing was, indeed, superior film-making.

Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough happening (action, drama, interesting situations) in Vampyr's story to hold this viewer's attention for more than just a few brief moments at a time.

Vampyr's weak storyline, literally, has its main character running around (all bug-eyed) in an old, country inn, encountering one forgettable character after another until the whole situation turns into a somewhat blurred (and decidedly silly) nightmare.

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ManMachine
Aug 28, 2015

If you're seriously looking for a "horror" movie that contains more "WTF!?" moments in it than David Lynch's "Eraserhead", then this truly absurd and eccentric, little vampire flick (from 1932) may just be what you're hankering for.

(Unfortunately) - For me to say that "Vampyr" could have been a helluva lot better (on all counts) would definitely be an understatement.

But, with that said, "Vampyr's" creepy, grungy, grainy visuals did, at times, tend to have a nonsensical appeal to them (that was all their own). And, this, in turn, was what kept me watching this film even though I knew damn-well I should be shutting this sh*t off, like, pronto!

Anyway - I will tell you one thing for certain - Had "Vampyr" been an American production (instead of a German one) nobody, I'm sure, would be giving a flying f*ck about it, one way, or the other. Nope. If that was the case, "Vampyr" would be dismissed without a second thought.

Janedith Feb 23, 2014

Very Artsy for an old film. I found it boring.

m
Monolith
Oct 19, 2013

I had to watch this baffling, ethereal mind-bender twice. After the first viewing, my brain hurt. I didn't get it. Too bizarre. The protagonist roams around seeing all kinds of shadow people -- upside down, murderous, backwards, dancing, peg-legged.. With the second viewing, I took advantage of the commentary with film scholar Tony Rayns hopefully shedding some light on it; thusly soothing my aching frontal lobe. No such luck. I still don't know if Allan Grey was dreaming, dead, insane, or all of the above. I need an Advil. (Terrific ending for the old female vampyr crone, and her henchman, Dr. Igor Snowdrift, (lol) though.) Quite an imaginative trip.

rocknrollphilip Feb 19, 2013

Wow....Wow....Wow!!

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Monolith
Oct 19, 2013

Gisèle: "Why does the doctor always come at night?"

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