The classic 1922 film Nosferatu starring Max Schrek is remarkable. The use of clever additions to enhance the spooky, creepy atmosphere throughout the movie are quite astounding, considering the time period this film was created.
There are several components that enhance the atmosphere in a horror movie. They are not always apparent however, but without them, the film is lacking. A dominant example of this is lighting. Considering the availability and costs of proper film lighting in 1922, the directors did an excellent job of using shadows. Being unable to film at night, it is quite surprising how the directors still enhanced the film with lighting. Scenes of low, flickering light in the castle create a spooky ambience, and Count Orlock's shadow on the wall creeping slowly into the room captures the audience's attention with suspense. These little additions have an enormous affect on the quality of the film.
However, Nosferatu is definitely lacking in one of the most essential components of a horror movieÃ¢ÂÂ¦music. It seems to dub in the continuos opera-like music throughout the film, even though the speed and sound of the music do not correspond with the actions of the film. For example, a scene in which it shows the character Jonathan waking up and opening up a window uses fast, action like music which would usually indicate action. Although the music is quite eerie, it's timing is a definite fault. It is obvious throughout the movie, and if corrected would increase the atmosphere of the film enormously.
A clear symbolic code that is used in this film is the creepy acting of Max Schrek. His movements across distances are abnormal, as he either moves slow and smooth, and at times seems to "float". He uses his odd facial structure and claw-like hands to emphasize...