105 Must See Films

105 Must See Films: Vampyr (1932)


Starring: Julian West, Rena Mandel, Maurice Shutz,

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer

A young student of the supernatural Allan Grey finds that he’s bitten off more than he can shew when he stays for the night in the eerie town of Courtempierre. On his first night he experiences strange images, disembodied shadows, spirits and other bumps in the night.

After a man leaves a letter to be opened in case of his death, and is found murdered the next day, Grey learns that there’s a vampire in the village that must be stopped, and the mystery centres on the man’s strange, sickly daughter.

It’s a Must See Because: although it received mixed reviews on release, the film is one of Europes early forays into sound. It still retains the title cards of silent films, which made it more easily translatable to foreign markets, but it used sound effects to help create mood and tension.

Whilst Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari both came before, and this film uses some of the same visual style, but is also very much it’s own film. Based on the story of Carmilla by Sheriden Le Fanu, the vampire story in which a girls companion and friend turns out to have sinister, blood sucking intentions, rather than theย oft usedย Bram Stokers Dracula. It’s a very creepy, strange, dreamlike film. It messes with your sense of what’s going on and what is real, with creepy, slightly disorienting imagery, and strange characters, dream sequences and imagery of death. It’s a really interesting early horror, and has inspired many film makers that came later.

See It If: you’re a horror fan, this one should be on your list, or if you like vampire narratives. It’s a true classic.


10 thoughts on “105 Must See Films: Vampyr (1932)”

    1. I’ve always been able to find this one on vintage film sites too, which is great. And yes! I love the way that his idea to film this as something that could be multilingual effected his story making choices.
      I love that some of the earliest films were about vampires, it’s so interesting that they resonate so strongly with people.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hello again ๐Ÿ˜Š Unbelievable, I thought I had a lot of knowledge about movies, but you are almost a complete encyclopedia of movies. In complete awe and respect here. I have never heard of this movie, but the way you describe it, it is one that I definitely want to see one day ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks again for all these great classic movie reviews ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing I just love about movies, is thst you get transported away for an hour two, to a different world, and can pretty much forget everything around you. Simply Magic ๐Ÿ˜€ Reading has always been a hobby of mine as well, for pretty much the same reason. And if a story is done well…it is an even better experience ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

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