In 1838, in the fictional German town of Wisborg, Thomas Hutter is sent to Transylvania by his employer, estate agent Herr Knock, to visit a new client named Count Orlok who plans to buy a house across from Hutter’s own home. While embarking on his journey, Hutter stops at an inn where the locals become frightened by the mere mention of Orlok’s name.
Hutter rides on a coach to a castle, where he is welcomed by Count Orlok. When Hutter is eating dinner and accidentally cuts his thumb, Orlok tries to suck the blood out, but his repulsed guest pulls his hand away. Hutter wakes up the morning after to find fresh punctures on his neck, which he attributes to mosquitoes. That night, Orlok signs the documents to purchase the house and notices a photo of Hutter’s wife, Ellen, remarking that she has a “lovely neck.” Reading a book about vampires that he took from the local inn, Hutter starts to suspect that Orlok is a vampire. He cowers in his room as midnight approaches, with no way to bar the door. The door opens by itself and Orlok enters, and Hutter hides under the bed covers and falls unconscious. Meanwhile, his wife awakens from her sleep, and in a trance walks onto her balcony’s railing, which gets his friend Harding’s attention. When the doctor arrives, she shouts Hutter’s name, apparently able to see Orlok in his castle threatening her unconscious husband.
The next day, Hutter explores the castle, only to retreat back into his room after he finds the coffin in which Orlok is resting dormant in the crypt. Hours later, Orlok piles up coffins on a coach and climbs into the last one before the coach departs, and Hutter rushes home after learning this. The coffins are taken onboard on a schooner, where all of the ship’s sailors and captain die and Orlok takes control. When the ship arrives in Wisborg, Orlok leaves unobserved, carrying one of his coffins, and moves into the house he purchased.
Many deaths in the town follow after Orlok’s arrival, which the town’s doctors blame on an unspecified plague. Ellen reads the book Hutter found, which claims that a vampire can be defeated if a pure-hearted woman distracts the vampire with her beauty. She opens her window to invite Orlok in, but faints. Hutter revives her, and she sends him to fetch Professor Bulwer, a physician. After he leaves, Orlok enters and drinks her blood, but starts as the sun rises, causing Orlok to vanish in a puff of smoke by the sunlight. Ellen lives just long enough to be embraced by her grief-stricken husband. Count Orlok’s ruined castle in the Carpathian Mountains is then shown.
I originally watched this film during my film class in College. I already loved films but Nosferatu made me really want get into being a film critic. I absolutely adore this film, even though it comes off as cheesy now, it was and still is a classic. It is considered horror but really isn”t dark at all.
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