SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE is a darkly humorous and chilling horror-drama that reimagines the making of the classic 1922 silent film Nosferatu, with Willem Dafoe delivering a captivating and unforgettable performance as the enigmatic vampire, Count Orlok.
In this fictional account of the making of F. W. Murnau’s masterpiece, Dafoe’s Count Orlok is revealed to be a real vampire, who has been hired by Murnau (John Malkovich) in his relentless pursuit of authenticity and cinematic perfection. As the cast and crew begin to suspect the terrifying truth behind Orlok’s otherworldly presence, they find themselves in a desperate struggle for survival.
Dafoe’s portrayal of Count Orlok is a masterclass in character acting, as he seamlessly blends menace, pathos, and dark humor into a complex and mesmerizing figure. With his uncanny physical transformation and commitment to the role, Dafoe evokes both fear and sympathy, creating a character that is both monstrous and deeply human. His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and it remains one of the most iconic portrayals of a vampire in film history.