Shadow of a Vampire

How have aspects of the gothic genre and bran stokers’ novel Dracula been appropriated to create a new text, shadow of the vampire?

Shadow of the Vampire

The film “Shadow of the Vampire” is an appropriated text solely dependent on the pre-existing texts, Dracula by Bran Stoker and Nosferatu directed by Murna. “Shadow of the Vampire” is a film within a film as it retells the filming of Nosferatu. The film exploits the gothic genre thoroughly as it uses the sense of fear and revulsion, gothic palette, monumental architecture, the legend of a vampire, isolation, the clash between good and evil and the movement from east to west symbolizing the movement from the civilization of the east to the unknown west, this is depicted when Jonathan writes “it seems to me that the furthar east you go the more unpunctual are the trains, what ought they be in china?”. The film uses many key aspects to complete a successful appropriation, for example the elements included are verisimilitude, melodramatic style, imagery, use of plot, setting and characterizations are all evident in the film.

The gothic mode that is present in Shadow of the vampire uses many techniques in order to enhance the gothic genre in the film. The imagery and melodramatic soundtrack in the film slowly becomes recognizably gothic the nearer they come to the village near count Orlocks castle. Monumental architecture can be noticed throughout the counts castle along with special lighting effects creating shadows and hinting evil, this can be noticed as Gustov first enters the castle. An unholy bargain between Murna and Count Orlock distinguishes the sacrifice of the goddess ultimately ending in the death of Greta. Count Orlock throughout the film becomes extensively characterized as the outsider, always feared yet desirably attractive.

The film within a film technique had been chosen in order to follow the filming of Nosferatu and behind the scene action, it also thoroughly intertwines the essence of...