Shadow of the Vampire (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)



Critic Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.

Movie Info

F W Murnau is making Nosferatu on location in Eastern Europe. The director is determined to make this the most authentic movie ever. To this end Murnau has employed a real vampire, Max Schreck. He explains Schreck's weird behavior by saying that he is a fastidious method actor. As payment Schreck has been promised drug addicted beauty Greta - Nosferatu's leading-lady. She is to be his at the end of filming. But it seems that Schreck cannot wait that long to taste the blood of the crew.

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John Malkovich
as F.W. Murnau
Willem Dafoe
as Max Schreck
Udo Kier
as Albin
Aden Gillett
as Henrick
Ronan Vibert
as Wolfgang
Derek Kueter
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Shadow of the Vampire

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (41)

"Shadow of the Vampire" is a gory and grandiose metaphor for the torments and sacrifices made, extracted, and endured in the name of art.

October 19, 2019 | Full Review…

Vampire satire has some creepy moments.

December 28, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The screenplay, by Steven Katz, suffers from arch, almost unspeakably theatrical dialogue, and, as Murnau, John Malkovich recites his lines as if monomania were synonymous with monotonic: He drains the drama of blood.

September 25, 2007 | Full Review…

Wholly absorbing and inspired in parts, this carefully crafted curio dares to suggest that Murnau made a Faustian pact with an actual vampire to play the title role in exchange for the neck of the film's leading lady at production's end.

September 25, 2007

Intriguing, eccentric, sporadically entertaining tosh (but tosh all the same).

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof.

September 26, 2002

Audience Reviews for Shadow of the Vampire


Willem Dafoe and John Malkavich in a horror film that wonders aloud if true horror is actually working with "committed artists". Very nearly a classic, while certainly a homage to one of horror's earliest masterpieces, the fun is less in the scares than in watching the cast emerge themselves in method acting.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The idea is really original and Dafoe delivers a spectacular performance under that fantastic makeup (the scene of the Count devouring the bat is hysterical); it is just a pity, though, that the weak script has such a redundant dialogue and Merhige's direction has some misfires.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Shadow of the Vampire Quotes

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