Shadow of the Vampire (2000) - Drama, Horror

Hohum Score



The filming of Nosferatu (1922) is hampered by the fact that its star Max Schreck is taking the role of a vampire far more seriously than seems humanly possible.

IMDB: 6.9
Director: E. Elias Merhige
Stars: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe
Length: 92 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 59 out of 333 found boring (17.71%)

One-line Reviews (268)

EXTREMELY bazarre, but see it for Dafoe's breathtaking performance .

It's worth watching.

- The reason that Murnau rants on about film-making is to show that he's a pretentious and up-his-own-backside selfish t**t.

With Nick Cage producing this, "Sonny", and "The Life Of David Gale", he's a stunning 0 for 3.

McCormack is so good at little gestures, voice inflection and unexpected turns and looks.

It's not funny and not scary, either--just slow and strange.

It's a fun, exciting film to see, and a feast for the eyes.

William Dafoe and John Malkovich must have been paid a fortune to be in this utterly boring film.

Shadow of the Vampire is worthy to join Sunset Boulevard, Singin' in the Rain, Eight-and-a-half, Day for Night, and Living in Oblivion as a first-class, enjoyable movie in its own right, while providing lots of food for thought about the way creating a movie provides such a wonderful metaphor for life in general.


Dafoe did what he could - and was worth watching.

His death scene is both terrifying AND thrilling.

I enjoyed it, had fun with it, and was caught up in its presentation.


The nd is predicable but it's suspenseful all the same.

I would have enjoyed the movie much more if they had given a more accurate impression: the movie is a strange tale that is very well told and acted, though slow in parts - with a great ending.

Pretentious - not in a good way .

Stunning nuances in Dafoe's central performance.

Shadow of the Vampire is one of those movies that pretentious "film" buffs feel compelled to like.

Learning why `Schreck' agreed to be in the film, learning why Murnau is so obsessed with perfection, learning why Greta (Catherine McCormack) is specifically chosen to be the leading lady in `Nosferatu' – these details, while not always crucial to the outcome of the film, are what make `Shadow of the Vampire' a very engaging, compelling story.

I believe these men (and Greta herself) were so immersed in a milieu so devoid of morality that they could no longer recognize evil; even when it sat right down next to them and shared a bottle of schnapps.

This must be one of the most boring and over rated films of all time!

It's fun to see the story of "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens" told from a newly and interesting point of view with a strong story and some fun and entertaining moments.

He delivers all his lines in a very boring one-note style that makes most things bland appear to shine like bright beacons.

John Malkovich portrays the German director with his trademark languid detachment and a mere hint of a Middle-European accent.

I fell asleep twice.

Shadow of The Vampire cannot really be put into a category, I can think of nothing like it, but it is still accessible and entertaining.

The concept was exciting and unique and the actors had the talent to pull it off I believed.

This 80 minute movie is lifted from its ordinariness by stunning performance by Malkovich as Munrau and Defoe as Shreck.

worth watching mostly because the performances of Mr. Malkovich and Mr. Dafoe.

It is the worst movie I have seen all year, and I've basically seen EVERYTHING.

Unfortunately, somewhere down the line the production (and focus) values totally fell apart, making some scenes plain unwatchable.

The thing is, though, that this movie quickly digresses form what could have been an awesome documentary-type drama that chronicles the making of Nofasteru, or whatever it was called, to an extremely confusing, highly disturbing horror.

The concept here is incredibly intriguing - what if a horror movie was a horror to film?

Basically because nothing happens (NOTHING AT ALL!

This one scene alone is worth the time spent sitting through what is otherwise an uninteresting and indeed, annoying film.

And horror fans will be especially delighted to see Udo Kier as Nosferatu's producer, as intense and hypnotic a presence as ever.

Elias Merhige's intensely imaginative "Shadow of the Vampire" offers an intriguing explanation of the film's creepy hold.

The atmosphere is both rich and compelling, both essential qualities for a film that's all about vampires from long ago.

The five minutes that the director spent on filming what appears to be wallpaper in the beginning of this movie, should have tipped me off that it was going to be a pretentious waste of time.

In the end we have Murnau out of his wits thanks to the opium but in the next scene he directs as before, fervently and obsessively, everything ending in a sequence that's as intense as nothing else.

The plot is fairly easy to grasp but intriguing.

Still, even with the over-the-top ending, everything would have been okay, I could have let it go and still enjoyed the film if it hadn't resorted to the oldest, tiredest vampire cliche in film history.

interesting idea rendered pointless .

John Malkovich does his usual overtly-intense over-playing as real-life German filmmaker Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau who, in 1921 Berlin, began work on directing original vampire tale "Nosferatu" after being refused permission by Bram Stoker's estate to make a movie of "Dracula"; Willem Dafoe is Murnau's hand-picked star, a "character actor" who insists on living his part.

This is one of the most enjoyable movies of the last few years.

Dafoe's makeup is flawlessly fiendish and the opening credits, though long, were eerie and fascinating to watch.

While maybe not for everyone this movie is Interesting, entertaining and chilling it left me with a smile as I pondered the depths of each humans' individuality & self awareness.

Compelling, fascinating, worth seeing .

There's no doubt that I had fun watching this movie, it's really entertaining and really well done.

But there was this rowdy group from the very start that finally left after 30 minutes into the film.

This film moves along slowly, dragged down by the weight of its arthouse self-importance as scenes drag on five times longer than they should.

However, the whole thing struck me as tedious and likely to appeal to a very limited audience.

The movie moves at a odd dull pace , and ideas as clever as they are ..are thrown together sloppily.


I was disappointed – as were the other members of the audience that just got up and walked out half way through the movie.

Especially irksome when you consider how much the real Murnau made 'Nosferatu' a fascinating rumination on nightmares of sexuality, disease, death, and even Western European xenophobia, one that was still stands heads above more popular versions of the vampire myth such as the talkie 'Dracula' with Bela Lugosi.

The black and white flashbacks staging the original silent film are fascinating , it's the best part of the film.

I approach films about films with trepidation; sometimes they are very good (White Hunter Black Heart), but more often boring and self-indulgent (Fedora).

This seems the most glaring weakness, as many scenes were entirely disconnected and bore no relation to those preceding or following, indeed in one part half a character's line seemed to be missing.

`Shadow of the Vampire' is a hard film to pigeonhole into a single category – at times, it's a dark comedy; at other times, it's a tragic film; and at still other times, it lives up to its heritage and becomes a truly gripping, disturbing horror film.

The makeup is dead-on, and the editing and cinematography are both breathtaking as well.

Highly entertaining.

Plodding .

John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes and Eddie Izzard star in SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, one of the most compelling horror films in the last decade.

very entertaining .

This was a dark, BORING movie.

It flogs to death its metaphor of the artist-possessed-by-his-demons-for-his-art cliche.

An entertaining "what if?

having Shreck die the same way Nosferatu did is a waste of time.

The story was strangely dull considering the plot (F.

This great film is a return to the horror epic,a horror movie worth watching.

To have gone on and on about the historic figures and their other films within this film, would have dragged the story down to pandering or ponderous depths.

The effect is quite compelling.

A thououghly enjoyable film, especially if you're familiar with the subject matter.

`Shadow of the Vampire' is one of those odd films that is completely and utterly predictable .

At the same time, there's a lot of humor, as well as an intriguing glimpse of Berlin in the decadent 1920s.

Don't waste the time or money to see this film.

Yet this horror-comedy does have its moments of wonderful macabre humor along with great performances to help make it an enjoyable movie.

You'll probably be bored or dissapointed.

"Shadow" is an absolutely breathtaking, beautiful, and bizarre look at the making of F.

Very dull as there were so many scenes that dragged on agonizingly.

Surprisingly boring .

This film is not scary, it has no story to speak of, and theperformances are uneven.

Elwes' spot-on accent was fascinating.

Unfortunately it turned out to be quite dull.

What should have been a climatic revelation scene, in which Malkovich finally fesses up to his colleagues Shrek's true nature, is done so matter-of-factly as to be dull.

I left the theater and demanded my money back after the first 45 minutes.

The great evil of devils and the banal evil of men.

I thought it was an imaginative and extremely compelling take.

I highly recommend it, if you're curious how a film is put together or just looking for good entertainment, the perfect mixture of dark humor and horror, Shadow of the Vampire is one not to be missed.

a terrible waste of time .

it's slow, not exciting and max shreck is the strangest vampire I can imagine, making deals with people and so on.

As a film, "Shadow of the Vampire" is not the most stunning horror piece ever made, with some fairly bland moments, but overall, it is fairly suspenseful, has an occasional laugh (though don't expect a lot of those), and impressive performances from John Malkovich (as F.

While there were some riveting and interesting scenes, namely the last act and climax, overall the movie seemed to be made up of unexplored loose ends ranging from the attempt at the start of the film to make Murnau's visit to some sort of caberet (hinting at what exactly?

and yet it's fascinating nonetheless.

Definitely worth watching, in my opinion anyway.

Thoroughly enjoyable in any case.

Willem Dafoe is an impressive actor, but the material here is too weak to save him, what with the film's tiresome script and sloppy editing that ensures boredom sets in before you're even half way through.

And NOTHING can prepare you for the seamless, intense, disturbing, captivating, and surprisingly humorous performance by William Dafoe.

It is the darker concept of this film that makes it so compelling, when the reclusive actor Shreck will only film his scenes at night.

Turns out it's not a horror movie, in fact I'm not even sure what genre of film it is, but one thing for sure is that it's twisted and suspenseful.


Seeing them back to back makes the experience all the more intriguing.

Nevertheless, Merhige's concise direction, Dafoe's engrossing performance as the vampire coupled with Malkovich's monomaniac behavior make "Shadow of the Vampire" worth watching despite its obvious shortcomings.

pointless .


It makes him fascinating, and raises all kinds of questions about his real moral culpability.

While it was pretty entertaining and a lot of fun to watch, in hindsight, I really wish the film had been the true story of the making of NOSFERATU--or even better, the true story of Murnau's very, very unusual life.

Shadow of the Vampire was on of those unexpected gems, one of those films I thought I was going to hate, I ended up loving it.

Technically interesting because of the intercutting with actual "nosferatu" footage, and a compelling cast and story up until that last scene.

The movie was all about the story outline, with no story.

") Aside from the film's complex treatment of the film within the film and of the character within the character (where Shadow of the Vampire re-presents Nosferatu, and Shadow's cast plays Nosferatu's cast), the film's most enjoyable aspect is its careful reconstruction of specific Nosferatu scenes.

Dreadful piece of film-making that plods along at a snail's pace and ends up going nowhere.

But hey, if you like that sort of thing, or if you like watching paint dry, then by all means I recommend this film.

An engrossing behind-the-scenes look at the creative process that makes the magic of the movies a reality, and for film buffs especially, it is one that must not be missed.

There is also very little plot and very little sub-plot: the film is utterly based on the Schreck character along with the lead actress, and nothing else, giving it a very 1-D, low-budget feel and no sense of characterisation.

Except for a few slow-moving sections, film buffs will thoroughly enjoy this take on the horror genre and its commentary on film-making in general.

The first film that I have wanted to leave the cinema for.

Indeed an entertaining and beautifully strange cinematic marvel saturated with film making talent and seems to be made for those of us who appreciate film and expect more out our 'movies'.

Still, Shadow of the Vampire is entertaining, and who knows, maybe one day someone will make a movie in which Willem Dafoe is a real vampire.

However, the pacing becomes either too slow or too fast at times, with awkward and out-of-place title cards occasionally explaining what the visuals can't.

However, the credits drag on far too long, and the art loses its appeal.

There suddenly jumps into the movie a pointless nude scene that lasts for quite a while, and also carries hardly an explanation.

There are a number of scenes from this movie that draw on "Nosferatu", and it makes a lot of the scenes more enjoyable.

" "Begotten" director Edmund Elias Merhige's second film qualifies as an artsy fartsy account about the making of groundbreaking German filmmaker F.

According to Murnau, Schreck is a consummate `method actor' – in fact, the mysterious man is so immersed in his `role' as a vampire that no one will be allow to see him out of his make-up, and filming is only to take place at night.

Still, this is worth watching.

In the pivotal role of Max Schreck is the ever engaging and thrilling Willem Dafoe in his second Oscar nominated role.

The boring film has some extremely overrated acting in it.

The film provides a fascinating duel of wills as both vampire and director confront one another with threats, recriminations and broken promises, only vaguely aware that they are really playing at the same game.

It is just a compelling line that gets you.

I thought it was excellent, emotionally gripping.

The recreations of various moments from Nosferatu are magically done, particularly when the scene then segues unbroken into the action, and Steven Katz' script is filled with wry moments and intriguing dialogue - I just wish it didn't try to convince me of its authenticity quite so much.

From the beautifully dark music to the thrilling twists and turns in a plot that surprises you at each turn, "Shadow of the Vampire" was a beautiful movie that showed what humans are in their core, and what those who are not humans are in their heart.

Great acting, boring film .

Oh look, it's John Malkovich talking to a vampire, so you sit up and go "wow" but ten minutes later when they're still talking you keep glancing at the clock wondering when they're going to do something exciting.

SHADOW OF A VAMPIRE bored me so much that I could only handle the first half of it.

Yes, it's pretty snappy, and though I'm not sure how it would've been better if it were longer, I was still left with an "Is that all?

Unlike Gus Van Sant's pointless and painfully boring 1998 remake of "Psycho", which was merely a copy of the original film scene for scene and shot for shot, "Nosferatu" merely serves as the background for " Shadow".

Absolutely stunning and fascinating .

Above all, this movie takes exciting risks.

"Director Mehrige and writer Steven Katz make a very interesting and fascinating point that Schreck was a vampire, basically an aging one.

Finally caught up with this trite little morsel and we DID laugh a few times....

I really enjoyed it.

For those of us who grew up watching Lugosi's Dracula and Christopher Lee's Hammer films,the '80s and '90s were a wasteland of boring,plotless,gore-filled,violence-laden vampire movies: mere supernatural slasher flicks that could have been written by anyone in two hours.

Still, this is an enjoyable movie that does grab you and hold you.

If Nosferatu was one of the most convincing portrayals of a vampire ever made, Defoe gives a stunning re-creation, and in doing so creates another masterful characterization.

This one should not be missed, it's so great, I could call it the Being John Malkovich of this winter, because it's original, entertaining and intelligent.

SHADOW is intriguing to say the least.

The major weaknesses are John Malkovich as Murnau, an ordinary performance by an overrated actor and a slow plot.

A movie set may kill you alright, but most likely through boredom.

The comparisons drawn between Murnau and Shreck only improve what is already a very enjoyable film.

At the screening I attended a person a seat in front of me yelled out "pretentious".

He's pretty predictable in this and probably figured he was on thin ice and tried to blow his character up to get some effect.

original, fascinating film .

I saw this film at the Telluride Film Festival and really enjoyed it.

Half the audience in the showing I saw walked out.

Maybe they got bored too.

The cinematography is really very beautiful (even though excessively dark at times), and the transition to and from the "film within a film" was fascinating...

It's breathtaking.

When I saw the advertisements for Shadow of the Vampire I thought it was an intriguing idea.

With all the possibilities of a movie like this, nothing happened.

Uninspiring performance from Malkovich drowns this one, even if Dafoe was great.

The lighting was also very dull, which I suppose fits the tone of this movie as I shall demonstrate.

This is generally an enjoyable film, and the concept is well realized.

If you have seen this sitting upright with high expectations and were disappointed, and were bored, try watching it again in a very relaxed frame (bed frame).

At times, the sense of the flow of the story - full of suspense and inspiring anticipation - did manifest, only to dissipate in a strange and empty scene or transition.

nothing happens.

Of course, being a vampire he also tends to be a tad unpredictable, biting bites, sucking back vodka, and snacking on the cast between takes.

') What's best about the conception is the plodding social-realist detail of what working in the film industry was like in 1922.

The making of the film is fascinating; some of the writing was done by the actors.

The pacing is slow and the accents frequently make the dialog hard to follow.

What ensues is a riveting struggle between Schreck and Murnau.

They seem to get the mise en scene down pretty well, but Malkovich is oddly uncaptivating as the quasi poetic, pretentious Murnau.

All of us enjoyed it and were sorry that we hadn't been able to see it in a theatre, although watching it on DVD was close........

It is a black comedy and a drama, full of artistic and compelling ideas.

And yet, when I ejected the disc of _Shadow of the Vampire_ last night, all I could think was that I had just watched a film that was far too artsy (whatever that means) for its own good ...

Starts well, becomes disjointed, ends poorly .

Very ambitious, Very boring .

It was predictable.

A creepy yet quite entertaining look at the classic horror .

An enjoyable piece of filmmaking.

Elias Merhige's "Shadow of the Vampire", but I found it to be a boring, pretentious mess.

The behind-the-scenes and fascinating fictional--or is it?

Great acting but slow moving and a little bit boring .

It is always entertaining, at times very scary and at times very funny...

It's not artistic, it's boring!

Elias Merhige asks the compelling question of how far any of us are willing to push the limits of a personal Mephistophelean bargain in order to achieve some ill-begotten immortality.

But as a film, Shadow of a Vampire, despite its great premise, is a plodding, suspenseless, and meaningless exercise that casts no reflection.

In particular the smattering of details of early film technique allow one the opportunity for those small flashes of discovery that are so engaging.

Unnecessary, trite and totally inappropriately historically inaccurate (even in the context of this film), that scene just killed it.

Dafoe is the only reason to waste your time with this film.

This movie was boring beyond even the wildest parts of my imagination.

This film may not be for the mass audience but for those who enjoy stories that blur reality, peopled with truly great actors that are able to pull off tragedy and comedy at the same time, while being filmed in an engaging and classically inventive way, this is the film for you!

The penultimate scene is horribly contrived, a lot of silly reminiscing to to advance the plot a little.

and fascinating because it is a trip in heart of a great movie and seductive explication for n extraordinary performance.

If they found the film's beginning boring, so did the Murnau character:When Murnau shouts, "at last an end to artifice", the filming as he intends begins.

No plot, no excitement, no thrill, no horror - it had nothing.

The plot is suspenseful and goes along smoothly, nothing too ridiculous even though the whole premise itself is pretty unlikely.

Uneven but fascinating .

The events of the film are known, and are predictable, so there's little suspense in guessing what will happen next.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen...

They have a compelling appeal for us, and an existence that stretches beyond a person's lifetime.

an interesting but slow movie...

Even staying awake through the opening credits, seemingly purposefully designed to slow the audience down enough to not walkout during the first 20 minutes, was a chore.

Anyone even remotely interested in suspense, film making, vampires, German Expressionism, or simply in being entertained should make it a point to see this challenging, evocative, thought-provoking and funny film.

Bored, disappointed and terrible are descriptions posted in several summaries.

Went to see 'Shadow of the Vampire' at the Amsterdam Festival of Fantastic Films last weekend, because of the Oscar-nomination for Willem Dafoe and the intriguing premisse of the classic F.

The first thing to say is that I don't think it has much historic accuracy which means the filmmakers can have fun here with the supposed myth that actor Schreck was a real Vampire which he obviously wasn't but I think it's a fascinating film to watch, a great idea, something a bit different & a very engaging & entertaining film.

The proofs that the lead is a vampire are countless: he sucked the blood of the lead actress at the end, he died out of a daylight's beam, the gift of the director was a bottle of blood,.. and yeah, his reflection on the mirror at the end for a second was a mistake done by the director or the editor which was left maybe to make us live this absurd confusion !

Though it's short, it's also unneccesarily slow .

waste of time .

Well done but pointless .


From the beginning credits (the art deco backdrop) you have a feeling this movie is begging pretentious people to just LUV it.


Udo Kier's bland performance as the producer, along with the rest of the cast, adds little to the film.

It became boring.

The ending of the film is predictable...

This movie really didn't do anything for me, the plot was confusing yet promising and the acting was bizzare and hard to follow.

fascinating game of nuances.

Director Merhige does a fantastic job, the look & feel of the film is brilliant with evocative 20's production design.

This is quite possibly the most boring vampire movie in existence, with Coppolla's wandering, watery 1992 version coming in a close second.

Because the actual film `Nosferatu' is real (and, incidentally, outstanding), and because `Shadow of the Vampire' is faithful to `Nosferatu' to a large degree (except, well, for the part about Max Schreck being a real vampire), `Shadow of the Vampire' is by nature predictable.

I found nothing about the premise, the characterization and the script to be enjoyable.

"Shadow of the Vampire" is a smart, original, funny, entertaining, haunting piece.

Unfortunately, it starts to stumble partway through, and becomes just a disjointed mess by the end.

Well worth watching.

A confusion of fact and fiction which serves neither well.

An intriguing question.

As it is, _Shadow_of_the_Vampire_ does a disservice to the real people who made _Nosferatu_, and thereby becomes something of a confusing mess itself -- though Willem Dafoe does leave an indelible mark, figuratively speaking.

), you can't be offended, repulsed, scared, excited, or even bored.

It's so evocative of Nosferatu, and carries the conceit that Schreck was played by a vampire convincingly to the end.

Cary Elwes, Eddie Izzard, Catherine McCormack, Udo Kier and John Aden Gillet all get into their characters with creative verve and a compelling knack.

This thrilling-dramatic-horror-mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The first half of the film is very good and engaging.

But the surprise treats awaiting the viewer here include some subtle and complex musings on the nature of film, vampirism, predation and immortality, and a stunning performance by Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck - an "alternate universe" Schreck, of course, since in this version, director Murnau has placed a genuine vampire in the landmark role of Count Orlock.

All in all, though, this was a really enjoyable film.

The movie was dull.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the photography was excellent.

This film has the chilling and exciting feel to it that belongs to the old, silent, dark horror films from the early days of cinema - which is exactly the point!

Murnau) and Willem Dafoe (as Max Schreck), enough to make it fairly entertaining.

Murnau is played by John Malkovich at his most pretentious, preening and hissing and generally chomping on the scenery enough to make Anthony Hopkins proud.

Because despite excellent performances and an ambitious idea, this film remains a labour of love, an actor's movie, and for the average movie-goer, a complete waste of time.

When I say stunning, I'm serious.

When he philosophizes on the life beyond life of film, is he being pretentious?

For the most part, the film mopes along to its rather predictable conclusion, with the ghoulish-looking Schreck popping in and out of scenes, doing a few gruesome vampire tricks, speaking in menacing tones and clicking his nails.

nothing happens....

In fact, I fell asleep just after Dafoe came waltzing in onto the screen.

`Shadow of the Vampire' is proof that sometimes the journey is far more important – and enjoyable – than the destination.

It's unexpected, and it's wonderful.

The writing was tight and the story was actually suspenseful without us even noticing it!

The "10 minute" on and on talk between Malkovich and Dafoe one reviewer found boring...

On some occasions, fabulous performances can carry an otherwise dull film.

How else can one explain why they made this plotless piece of "ectoplasm".

While this film was well acted by most of its protagonists - Eddie Izzard stood out - it seemed to me ultimately rather pointless.

Vampire performances by and large have become flat, rote exercises in cliche; rarely if ever do they even bother to develop a personality, let alone suggest any unique qualities of the vampire life.

In the picture there is spooky and creepy atmosphere and being slightly slow-moving and that's why it results to be a little tiring .

The movie failed to deliver any of the expected atmospheres, creepy, intense, and mind twisting.

Dafoe is great in this film, I'll start off by saying that, But the whole complexity of Murnau is not shown, It's not shown that he was a closet homosexual, It's implied though, Malkovich was just boring as the legendary director, The makeup in this film was flawless, Dafoe was Schreck in every way, He saved the film from being utterly bad.

But once I got past the drawn out and unnecessary montage of pointless imagery in the opening credits, I was wonderfully entertained.

I was a one man band in support of Ed Harris for his gripping work in "Pollock",...

This is a very chilling and evocative motion picture (as it should be), and it features Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich at the top of their game.

(For all the people who have written that Murnau (Malkovich) waffled too much about film-making and was a bit pointless - "Duh?!?

John Malkovich is his usual intense self as director Murnau.

rent it if you can, but save your money otherwise.

Malkovich, who, with his bored bureaucrat's voice, has a particular genius for making lunacy sound perfectly reasonable, is terrific.