Nosferatu’s Horror: Early Cinema’s Fugitive Shadows

Emina Mušanović


This article investigates technologies of the monstrous at work in Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) in a backward glance, by departing from the figure of Nosferatu stripped of its horror in digital memes and a SpongeBob episode. In these contemporary revivals, the terror experienced from the foreignness of the vampire’s exteriority, the infectious effacement of discernible origin and kinship, and transgression against various binaries and boundaries no longer registers. The departure from a Nosferatu freed from his frightfulness and set loose in new media facilitates a critical investigation of the horrors of the monstrous Other and the monstrosity of the filmic medium that intersect within this apparition. In other words, this essay examines the conventions through which Graf Orlok is fashioned as a monstrously human Other and the horror of the encounter with the vampire’s posthuman embodiment of the filmic medium.

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