Nosferatu: A symphony of Horror review


While the prospect of watching a silent, black and white movie from 1922 might sound frighteningly boring for some, “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror” proves that even films approaching their 100-year anniversary are highly watchable.


For those familiar with “Spongebob Squarepants,” the Halloween episode centered around the “Hash Slinging Slasher” briefly featured Nosferatu as the source of the flickering lights. While the general reaction was one of relief for Spongebob and his coworkers, Nosferatu is actually far more terrifying than any murderous fry cook with a rusty spatula for a hand.


During Halloween season, many may find themselves in search of a good horror movie to set the mood. While “Hocus Pocus,” “Friday the 13th” and “Halloweentown” are great options, all fans of horror should watch the criminally unknown masterpiece “Nosferatu” at least once: especially if one gets the opportunity to watch it in the theater accompanied by a live musical ensemble, as the Roxy provided this past weekend.


The Andrew Alden Ensemble, based out of Rochester, New York, have established themselves as the gold standard for contemporary electronic chamber music. Their live performances accompany movies from the silent film era and beyond to provide a unique moviegoing experience that has long since been lost. In the case of “Nosferatu,” the chilling musical performance intensified the horror on film.


Too many scary movies are dependent on jump-scares and over-the-top special effects to frighten the audience. The genius of “Nosferatu” is that the film is able to convey suspense and fear through visuals alone, although an eerie orchestral accompaniment certainly helps.


While it could be argued that “Nosferatu” abounds with clichés, it is only because this constantly imitated but yet incomparable film served as the source material for these very clichés. Motifs and special effects that were revolutionary at the time may seem dated or corny by today’s standards, but to properly understand the evolution of the horror movie genre, one must be familiarized with its rich history.
5/5 stars