Vampyr

With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre. The result—a chilling film about a student of the occult who encounters supernatural haunts and local evildoers in a village outside of Paris—is nearly unclassifiable. A host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds create a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, Vampyr is one of cinema’s great nightmares.

Film Info

  • Carl Th. Dreyer
  • Denmark
  • 1932
  • 73 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.19:1
  • German
  • Spine #437

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION SET:

  • High-definition digital transfer of the original German-language version of the film from the 1998 restoration by Martin Koerber and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate version with English text
  • Audio commentary from 2008 featuring film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Carl Th. Dreyer, a 1966 documentary by Jørgen Roos chronicling Dreyer’s career
  • Video essay by scholar Casper Tybjerg on Dreyer’s influences in creating Vampyr
  • Radio broadcast from 1958 of Dreyer reading an essay about filmmaking
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Mark Le Fanu and Kim Newman, a piece by Koerber on the restoration, and a 1964 interview with producer and actor Nicolas de Gunzburg, as well as a book (Blu-ray only) featuring Dreyer and Christen Jul’s original screenplay and Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 story “Carmilla,” a source for the film
    Cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION SET:

  • High-definition digital transfer of the original German-language version of the film from the 1998 restoration by Martin Koerber and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate version with English text
  • Audio commentary from 2008 featuring film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Carl Th. Dreyer, a 1966 documentary by Jørgen Roos chronicling Dreyer’s career
  • Video essay by scholar Casper Tybjerg on Dreyer’s influences in creating Vampyr
  • Radio broadcast from 1958 of Dreyer reading an essay about filmmaking
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Mark Le Fanu and Kim Newman, a piece by Koerber on the restoration, and a 1964 interview with producer and actor Nicolas de Gunzburg, as well as a book (Blu-ray only) featuring Dreyer and Christen Jul’s original screenplay and Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 story “Carmilla,” a source for the film
    Cover by Michael Boland
Vampyr
Cast
Julian West
Allan Gray
Maurice Schutz
Lord of the chateau
Rena Mandel
Gisèle
Sybille Schmitz
Léone
Jan Hieronimko
The doctor
Henriette Gérard
Marguerite Chopin
Albert Bras
The old servant
N. Babanini
His wife
Jane Mora
The nurse
Credits
Director
Carl Th. Dreyer
Screenplay
Christen Jul
Screenplay
Carl Th. Dreyer
From the book In a Glass Darkly by
Sheridan Le Fanu
Photography
Rudolph Maté
Art direction
Hermann Warm
Music
Wolfgang Zeller

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Explore

Carl Th. Dreyer

Writer, Director

The creator of perhaps cinema’s most purely spiritual works, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer is one of the most influential moving image makers of all time, his arrestingly spare and innovative approach echoed in the films of Ingmar Bergman, Robert Bresson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lars von Trier, and countless others. After making his mark with such narrative silent films as the provocative Michael (1924) and Master of the House (1925), Dreyer created The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), which, though deemed a failure on its release, is now considered, with its mix of stark realism and expressionism (and astonishing, iconic performance by Maria Falconetti), one of the great artistic works of the twentieth century. For the next four decades, Dreyer would continue to make films about people caught in battle between the spirit and the flesh and to experiment technically with the form. Vampyr (1932) is a mesmerizing horror fable full of camera and editing tricks; Day of Wrath (1943) is an intense tale of social repression, made during the Nazi occupation of Denmark; Ordet (1955) is a shattering look at a farming family’s inner religious world; and Gertrud (1964) is a portrait of a fiercely independent woman’s struggle for personal salvation.