Vampyr ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Hypnotic and disorienting, this early 1930's German feature which uniquely incorporates sound into a silent film brings tension and uncomfortable imagery in droves, as we follow a man who studies the occult and is suddenly tasked with saving a small village from a vampire. While it may not boast grand visual effects or practical stunt work or big, wild action sequences, it does wonders in creating a humanistic horror story that follows a small group of people banding together to save themselves and their village, and makes for one of my favorite vampire tales, up there with the likes of 'Nosferatu' from 1922.

Watching de Gunzburg's Allan Gray use his wits, smarts, and an occult book to figure out what's going on and what is necessary to stop the vampire is so engaging, and the film saves the most horrifying and terrifying sequences for the final, closing moments, namely the POV coffin sequence (gives me chills simply thinking about it) and the flour mill sequence, which is also very suffocating (no pun intended...maybe). I'm also incredibly impressed by the sound effects in this film. It was apparently shot as a silent film, utilizing as little dialogue as possible (instead opting for silent film-type text cards, or using language in the world such as signs or books to assist the viewer), and the sound effects, music (a brilliant score, by the way, very underlooked) and dialogue was added months later in post. So impressive.

Do yourself a favor and give this one a go if you're a fan of horror or vampires, and it's all so succinct and paced so well with a short running time.

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