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‘Nosferatu’ | What to expect from the director’s new film of “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse”



This remake will definitely arrive in the future.

Among the directors who have established themselves in their respective genres in recent years, none have such an unusual and subjective filmography as Robert Eggers in horror, who began his career in 2007 with the short film João e Maria (a revival of the famous short story film lasting a little less than thirty minutes) but whose fame only came in 2016 with the release of A Bruxa.

The style of psychological and social horror he proposed, in addition to being interpreted from the point of view of the protagonist Thomasin, established a new phase for the genre with more works released from a more psychological perspective of his. characters, going against the grain of Cinematographic Fever. found images directed by Paranormal Activity. It was around this time that examples of the genre (which in a short time became highly regarded by audiences and critics alike) emerged such as Hereditary and Invisible Man.

The director then took his time to work on his new project, which would be an even more intense dive into the exploration of an interpretive narrative and with a strong appeal to psychological terror. The Lighthouse turned out to be a success with the same proportion of acceptance and rejection as the previous copy; On the one hand, its aesthetics and staging were celebrated as something you don’t normally get in a mainstream movie.

With “The Lighthouse”, Robert Eggers proved capable of delivering a unique remake

On the other hand, the strong interpretive tone of the work was one of the reasons some viewers couldn’t stay connected to the plot until the end. Despite everything, after another success, Eggers found himself involved in two other projects: The Northman and a reinterpretation of Nosferatu.

The first is chronologically his closest production, and despite the little plot information, it is known that he has to approach Viking culture in some way. Nosferatu, on the other hand, is still a distant project, no further details of which are unveiled, but that does not prevent speculation about its approach or development from being elaborated.

The film with the creature of the same name was first released in 1922 as an example of the film movement known as German Expressionism. The reason for its production, however, has more to do with legal complications than anything else. At the time, director FW Murnau was unable to secure the rights to adapt the book Dracula, which belonged to the family of author Bram Stoker.

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“Nosferatu” of 1922 can be interpreted as a symbolism of that year for Germany

In order to get around this legal barrier, he crafted a plot that strictly followed the same story told in the novel, but the names of the characters were changed (the main antagonist was no longer Count Dracula but Count Orlok). As expected, there were legal consequences and it was determined that all film rolls had been destroyed.

Yet the strength of the work over the decades only increased, as did the mystique of the character who looked more grotesque than Bela Lugosi’s Dracula a few years later, and the technical details employed by the director. to give a threatening tone to the vampire shadow; this play of shadow and light on set was a hallmark of the aforementioned cinematic movement, but narratively morphed into one more detail for the villain.

In terms of meaning, Nosferatu still gives rise to many discussions about possible messages implicit in its plot and its scenography. It was characteristic of films belonging to expressionism to criticize the situation in Germany after the first war, which had to cope with a weak economy and the emergence of extremist groups. With that in mind, Murnau’s film sounded like an excellent commentary on the weakness of the current Weimar Republic and how Orlok symbolized the forces antagonistic to that democracy.

The film takes advantage of the innovations of the German movement in the use of light and shadow.

Nosferatu became a benchmark work for German filmmakers in the following years, and in 1979 he got a “spiritual remake” at the hands of Werner Herzog; the use of quotes is due to the fact that, despite the similar title, the film has more faithfully adapted Stoker’s work, so all of the characters shown are namesakes of those in the books.

However, this version, especially in terms of decoration and composition of costumes, presents an approximation much closer to the work of 1922 than the official adaptation of 1931 or the Hammer films of the 50s and 60s, all the more so when ‘we observe the characterization that Dracula received which resonates with the same one previously used by Max Schreck.

As for the socio-political commentaries, much of what is theorized around this version resonates in the extremely divided time that Germany has spent between a Western bloc and an Eastern bloc. The menacing figure of Dracula sometimes came to be associated with fear on both sides of each other and his grotesque attitudes (such as feeding on innocent blood) represented the cartoonish way in which both sides of the wall were reproduced for them. populations.

Herzog’s version goes in a different direction from the 1922 work.

So, in which direction can Eggers go? Assuming that the director has already shown that he prefers to situate his plots in period contexts, it is very likely that his version of Count Orlok retains the 19th century setting and does not sacrifice the symbolism carried by his appearance. It wouldn’t be surprising if the director would use the current popular imagination formed on pandemics and health issues to create a token villain.

If previously the vampire represented corrosion or social division, a new interpretation might work well as a look at the concept of disease itself, with the act of conversion performed by the count functioning as an infection. This kind of look wouldn’t be unusual, as Guillermo del Toro signed the Nocturne book series exploring vampirism like a plague.

Another element that the director usually devotes time to is the social context as the story unfolds, this structure of society functions as a mechanism for increasing terror. The setting of Dr. Seward’s famous sanatorium, where Renfield is also held until his master’s arrival, could be the scene of such intense oppression as The Witch’s family home or The Lighthouse’s lighthouse island. .

Everything is still very nebulous and in the realm of speculation, but the director in question has already been creative in delivering products that have advanced terror; much of the creative freedom of this remake will depend on what it offers with The Northman. However, it is always something that generates high expectations.

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