• Director

    Carl Theodor Dreyer

  • With

    Julian West, Sybille Schmitz, Rena Mandel, Jan Hieronimko

  • Germany-France 1932. 75min

  • Digital (restoration)

  • Certificate

    PG

  • English subtitles

  • A Eureka release

Dreyer’s experimental early sound film remains one of the strangest, and greatest, of all horror movies. A young man checks into a country inn, where he’s later woken by someone leaving a package in his room – the first of several mysterious occurrences suggesting that the village is threatened by malign, even demonic forces... Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’, Vampyr isn’t frightening, but it is profoundly unsettling in its vivid evocation of life’s fragility and death’s ubiquity. Using sparse dialogue, strange disembodied sounds, misty grey lighting and unconventional editing that undermines easy assumptions about what’s happening and why, Dreyer creates a haunting, dreamlike world in which distinctions between ‘reality’ and the apparently supernatural are very effectively dissolved. A masterpiece.

Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

See our Terror Vision film.

See the preview screening on Thursday 5 May 18:15 NFT1 and the Seniors’ paid matinee: Vampyr + discussion on Monday 23 May 14:00 NFT1.

Also available on BFI Player