Very seldom in a film does the setting play an actual character in the story. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy had Gotham play the series’ lead protagonist and Kubrick’s The Shining had it’s actors somewhat overlooked in comparison to the character study given to us in the perspective of a haunted winter getaway. Carl S. Dreyer’s Vampyr is yet another addition to this list of examples. A 1930’s expressionist horror flick that syphons its prowess from its extraordinary use of surrealist lighting and set pieces that make many an audience question the fabric of normality.

This slow but driving narrative does a bang up job at making you feel isolated and just as lost as the film’s main character is. You’re able to relive your first couple hours of kindergarden again, but it takes place in a world where your own shadow is self aware, anyone holding a dangerous piece of gardening equipment is silhouetted and a menacing blank stare is the new shit eating grin. If you’re a fan of more modern day surrealists such as Guy Maddin or Shinya Tsukamoto then you’ll have a great time eloping with this one. The seminal version of this film can be found on the Criterion Collection(#437).

– The Spork Guy

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About The Spork Guy

Born in Fullerton, CA and having inhabited every county neighboring it at one point in time, Sterling is a Southern Californian gypsy on a personal mission to challenge the postmodern definition of "Art". Underground filmmaker, illustrator, project coordinator and promoter of punk rock music; Sterling considers himself to be anything but an artist. Sterling is currently Manager of Operations for the Oceanside International Film Festival and has a hand in making sure other great makers of cinema find their audience. He has had a stake in honoring various influential entities with lifetime achievement awards such as; animator Everett Peck, non-ficton filmmaker Jeffrey Durkin and iconic voice actor Jon St. John. Besides working for OIFF, Sterling has also lent his abilities to the Temecula Valley Film and Music Festival as well as Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

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