“A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.”

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Writers: Sheridan Le Fanu, Christen Jul, Carl Theodor Dreyer
Staring: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: August 14, 1934

Vampyr (1932) is on every “must see” horror list. I remember seeing it in books when I was younger and thinking, “That’s not how you spell vampire.” Vampyr is a German film from the early 1930s that tells the story of Allen Grey (Julian West) falling into a horror tale with an unknown entity, only known as a vampire (courtesy of some literature).

I am going to be speaking personally about this movie because I am in the minority in terms of not loving it. I was very confused with what was happening in the story. At the end of the movie I had more questions than answers. Maybe I had a hard time differentiating between the different sisters and the different characters? I also don’t love how in the end, the original vampire was just a woman by the name of Marguerite Chopin. That seems like a cop out.

Credit has to be given to Vampyr for the way it looks and the the score that undertones the story. There are purposeful shots used to emphasize the empty space and shadows on the walls. The image of the Scythe is iconic for anyone who loves movie posters. And come the end of the movie, the images of Grey in the coffin are memorable for the surprise of the moment.

I think I screwed my own viewing experience on this one. I watched Vampyr on the train in multiple parts. Not the immersing experience that an older movie often requires. It may be worth giving Vampyr another shot in the dark of night in my living room with the curtains closed.

STANKO RATING: C (2.5/5 Stars)

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