I'm not a big fan of horror movies, aside from some of the classic Universal films and the first Scream (and the third one wasn't bad). However, Shadow of the Vampire was
a refreshing twist on the genre, thanks to a clever premise and a great
Willem Dafoe performance.
In 1922, the short-lived German film studio Prana Film produced its one and only feature - Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror, more commonly known just as Nosferatu. Directed by the legendary F. W. Murnau, renowned for his Expressionist style of filmmaking, Nosferatu was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.
The names were changed to (unsuccessfully) avoid legal issues, and the
Abraham van Helsing character was completely absent. Albin Grau, the
film's producer (as well as its production designer) had been interested
in the occult for most of his life, and he'd heard stories of vampires
from a Serbian farmer when he was in the army during World War I. Nosferatu was
intended by Grau to be the first of a series of supernatural-themed
films produced by Prana. The screenwriter, Henrik Galeen, wasn't new to
movies with this sort of theme; he had previously written, directed,
and starred in The Golem (1915), based on the Jewish folk tale of a clay being brought to life. (This is a different film than the more well-known Golem from 1920.)