Project Horror, Day 5: Vampyr


What the hell did I just watch?  Seriously - what the hell?  Part of me thinks that maybe I'm just not doing a good job of understanding this thing as a product of the time in which it was made.  The other, louder part of me says, "Well, Holwerda, you knew that it was a Scandinavian film from the 1930s when you hit Play.  You rolls your dice, you takes your chances."

I cheated after I watched this movie and looked up its plot summary on Wikipedia.  With the benefit of that, it kind of made sense, but not before.  The story is about a young traveler and student of the occult who takes a room in a lonely inn.  There, he is awakened by a distressed old man who leaves him a package labeled, "To be opened after my death."  That was about the last really clear moment of the film, but our hero ends up going to the old man's house and rescuing his daughter from vampirism, all while various other strange things are going on.  I also learned from Wikipedia that this movie had a very negative critical reception when it was released, which at least makes me feel better about not liking it now.

There are two good things I can say about this movie.  The scene where the hero sees his own body in a casket is genuinely unsettling.  Also, I didn't see the ending coming, but that's probably because I had absolutely no idea what was happening.  Tonight was my last night with classic horror before I start my block of zombie movies tomorrow, and I think it'll be nice to watch some movies where something actually happens.

I give this one scythe out of five.


Ali said...

i know it's not very creative to keep leaving comments that quote your posts, but sometimes I'm laughing so hard at things like, "I didn't see the ending coming, but that's probably because I had absolutely no idea what was happening," that I can't think of anything else to say.

Scott Cheatham said...

I love it! Want some company? Or shall I just wait until the middle of the night and then come scratch on your bedroom window?

Danny said...

@Ali - Thanks! And for what it's worth, I've stolen one of your phrases for use in real life - coins in the therapy fund.

@Scott - If you're serious, I wouldn't say no to some company! I'll send you the movie line-up.

Kyle said...

Man, I saw this movie years ago during my obscure silent film stage and I seem to remember really liking it. But maybe I didn't, and unfortunately I think Netflix removes your reviews if you end your subscription (stupid post-marriage merger of assets!). Or maybe I didn't review it at all. I can't remember because I was so high at the time.

Anyway, I do seem to remember a pretty decent human to bat transformation effect. Don't I? Help me out here, Danny!

Danny said...

No, I'd have remembered a human to bat transformation, but I don't think that it was in this movie. In fact, it wasn't even entirely clear who the vampire was until one of the final scenes. This is the one that ends with an old man (the vampire's assistant, or Renfield, if you will...) being buried alive by flour inside of a mill. Seriously, that's the very last scene of the movie.

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