1001 Movie Club: Vampyr

vampyr (1)This is the fourth and final film for the November selections of the 1001 Movies Club. Click here to read other club members’ reviews of this, and the other films we watched in November.

Not that any of my reviews are that well thought out, or interesting, but I’ll admit I’m pretty lackluster about this film, so this review may be a little ass-y.  And I’ll note that I did have a pretty intense cold when I watched this that made me very impatient and grumpy.  I didn’t really find much of value in Carl Theodor Dryer’s Vampyr.  I had trouble following the narrative, the poor production values (I’ll backpeddle in a bit) really distracted me, and I didn’t really care what was happening in the film.

Now, I’ll admit, I have never been one for old movies.  I’m trying to correct that with mild success, but Vampyr is clearly out of my grasp for now.  Complaining about production values may make me seem like a jackass.  And I respect that.  I hope it doesn’t come across that I can’t appreciate anything that has a budget over one hundred million dollars.  The chintzy music and poor cinematography had me straining to discern characters and plot directions, and hoping that the seventy minutes would end already.

As for the freak-out factor (which I can only assume Dreyer was attempting to create), it was almost non-existent for me.  The one moment that did kind of have me on edge was this moment:


Yes, whoever that girl is, she can certainly make me uncomfortable with her face contortions.

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4 Responses to “1001 Movie Club: Vampyr”
  1. This is one of those films you really have to be prepared to sit down and watch. If your not in the mood or tired then it’s pretty pointless to watch it. I tried watching it for the 1st time when I was about to go to sleep and ended up falling asleep 20 minutes in. 2nd time around I made sure to watch it when I wasn’t so tired, turned out better. The look and effects of the film is what I enjoyed the most, the story is pretty thin.
    .-= TheAnswerMVP2001´s last blog ..Vampyr (1932) =-.

  2. alfindeol says:

    It takes a little time to get the feel for silent films, and, personally, I think Vampyr isn’t a great place to start. It’s better than Birth of a Nation (the three hour silent epic where the KKK saves the day from the evil freed slaves), but it’s just not that exciting. That girls eyes were pretty creepy though.

    The Passion of Joan of Arc is really a much better film.

  3. Blake says:

    Ugh, about a year ago, I made a list of 10 or so silent films I felt I should see. I started with Birth of a Nation, and went no further on the list. Vampyr was my first attempt since then.

  4. Ferdinand de Deathbot says:

    I love it. It was consciously made to make you feel uncomfortable by breaking the normal film making rules. Dryer saw Tod Browning’s Dracula & noticed it was constructed no differently than a comedy. So he set out to mess with audience expectations. Example– having a character look screen left when the thing being looked at in the next cut, seems to be on screen right. The danger of messing up stuff like that is that some people will think it’s crappy production. To me it’s classic ‘anti-film making’ if there even is such a thing.

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