Nosferatu Redeems Dracula As A Vampire

In 1922, a new vampire face took over the silver screen despite Dracula’s heir denying its right to enter the lore. But, nothing could stop Count Orlok to become a face of horror.

Nosferatu As A Vampire

When F.W. Murnau presented the idea of the movie to Bram Stoker’s estate, they refused the right to the movie.

Based upon the famous Gothic novel named Dracula, even Stoker’s heir decided to take legal action following the release of the movie despite the refusal. In other words, Nosferatu redeems Dracula as a vampire.

Nosferatu – 1922

That is how the word vampire became Nosferatu in the movie and that Count Dracula became Count Orlok.

Both movies take place in the famous town of Transylvania, and both share many resemblances. Stoker’s heir won his case in court; little did he know that it would change everything in the horror scene.

After the court released its verdict, destruction of all reels took place, however, a few prints survived the sentence. Imagine, if all disappeared, we wouldn’t know the word Nosferatu.

Dracula As A Vampire

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is the exact title of the movie. The changes in the movie were simple but effective despite the verdict from the court. One can easily see the resemblance, but not to the point where it became a carbon copy.

The story revolves around a German man, Thomas Hutter, living in the fictional town of Wisborg in Germany in the year 1838. He works for a strange estate agent, Herr Knock, who decides it is time for Hutter to go to Transylvania and visit Count Orlok.

Nosferatu - 1922
Nosferatu – 1922

The count in this story is, of course, Nosferatu, “Bird of Death.” He lives in a castle in Transylvania and wants to purchase a house in Wisborg.

So his wife wouldn’t be alone during his leave, Hutter asks his friend Harding as well as his sister, Annie, to look after her. The adventure begins when the town’s dwellers rather not talk about Count Orlok.

Nosferatu Saves Dracula

Of course, our hero goes to find the castle regardless of the mountain climber’s expert’s advice. Hutter is even aware of the werewolf warning and goes regardless of it.

As a result, he is in the castle and now at Nosferatu’s mercy, which now has proof that he knows where Hutter’s wife is.

Nosferatu - 1922
Nosferatu – 1922

Not to reveal much more, but Hutter’s wife plays a rather important role in the story. She has a secure connection to her husband and can see what he goes through while in “trance.”

“Lovely neck.” — Nosferatu

Meanwhile, Hutter seems to become a victim of numerous unconscious episodes. Subsequently, Nosferatu is moving in a coffin by boat from Transylvania to Wisborg.

Many deaths occur, resulting in the town panics. The climax of the story brings you back to Wisborg, Hutter’s wife, employer, and friends. The mystery is to know how they can get rid of the vampire before losing everyone in town.

Nosferatu Redeems Dracula

This statement might come surprising to some, but I am not a fan of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Therefore, I do prefer Nosferatu. Nonetheless, I am trying quite hard to remain objective for this article.

It is quite apparent that the movie itself sounds a lot like Dracula, minus extras, and fluff. The movie, in my opinion, gave us an entirely different vision of what vampires could be.

Nosferatu - 1922
Nosferatu – 1922

The tone of the movie itself, to me, resonates differently than Bram Stoker’s novel of Dracula. Despite the family winning over Nosferatu and bankrupting the production after winning their case of copyright infringement, Nosferatu’s name remained.

While critiques revealed it poorly filmed, some didn’t like the clarity in the image while others said the vampire appeared too bright, others loved it. It was a case of either you loved it or hated it.

Those reviews appeared right after the premiere of the movie. I guess some realized Nosferatu redeems Dracula as a vampire.

Nosferatu Versus Dracula

All artists are afraid of the word plagiarism. We work so hard to protect our art and make it unique that when we see our work copied, we suffer from it. Is Nosferatu plagiarism? It is a form of it, yes, and I can’t lie about it. Is it different from Dracula? Yes.

What saves the movie, though, is that the writer asked permission to the Stoker family first. Granted, he did not have permission, henceforth Nosferatu and Count Orlok.

Nosferatu - 1922
Nosferatu – 1922

Is it enough to redeem the writer? That is not my place to say. All I know is that somehow, Nosferatu has a following and many fans.

To me, the tone of the movie is quite different than Dracula. The ending is not anticlimactic like its predecessor, and there are no hundred characters. The movie is, in my opinion, a better and enhanced version of Dracula.

Which Team Are You?

When the Stoker family won their case, the movie disappeared for a long time before surfacing in the United-States.

Copies survived and made their way to the silver screen again in 1929. People enjoyed it. Nosferatu became a vampire that could stand beside Dracula or against it.

Nosferatu - 1922
Nosferatu – 1922

I wonder if we can see it as Team Dracula versus Team Nosferatu? The two are so similar and so different in their rights. Despite people saying Nosferatu is a copy, I believe it to be so different as I despise Bram Stoker’s novel.

In my eyes, Nosferatu redeemed Dracula and made the vampires look better as monsters. He inspires people to this day and as notorious as he can be, people dare less to mention his name.

The truth is, why touching something so well done and amazing? In my eyes, Nosferatu redeems Dracula as a vampire.

So, which are you? Team Nosferatu or Team Dracula? Leave your answer in the comment section!

The OCD Vampire,
Alexa Wayne


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