Reality’s Shadow

The creature lurks in the dark. It is watching. It is waiting. The mere thought of its existence chills you to the core. The only problem is that it does not exist. Whether it is from the millenniums humanity spent in darkness, or some other factor, people have always been fascinated with the possible terrors that lurk in the shadows of reality. Within the last twenty or thirty years interest in vampires has led filmmakers and novelists to tell and retell the vampire narrative. Interest in the reality of vampires culminates in the film Shadow of the Vampire (2000). What better way of exploring the vampire genre than by adding to the mystique of the original vampire horror film, Nosferatu (1921), and filling the void of its production’s shadow. Shadow of the Vampire is not the typical vampire story. The film takes true events and fictionalizes them in such a way that the original events can no longer be viewed as typical, because the entire production story becomes the vampire story. The dark subject matter of vampires casts a large shadow as does the production of the first vampire film and it is our job to fill that dark void with typical images of “things that go bump in the night.” Of course, Max Schrek was not a vampire, but is it not wonderful to imagine that his vampiric lineage possibly led to all of the major vampire films of the twentieth century. That is, if only every vampire film is about an actual vampire as Shadow of the Vampire alleges of Nosferatu. As much as we would like to think otherwise, there exists a strong desire for there to actually be a monster under the bed or a boogeyman in the closet. Shadow of the Vampire feeds on this desire and provides a story that changes the history of the film that changed the history of vampire horror.

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  1. February 10th, 2011
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  2. February 10th, 2011
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