Vampyr: Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932 film)

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Scene from Der Traum des Allan Grey - the gaunt searcher-after-horror protagonist even looks a little like Lovecraft....

Vampyr, AKA Vampyr: Der Traum des Allan Grey, AKA Vampire: The Dream of Allan Grey (1932)

Summary

A traveler obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Details

  • Release Date: 1932
  • Country/Language: Germany/France, German with English subtitles
  • Genres/Technical: Fantasy, Horror, Art/Experimental, black-and-white (not silent, but it is an early talkie with almost no dialogue)
  • Setting: Classic Era (1920s and 1930s) Europe
  • Runtime: 1 hr 15 min
  • Starring: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel
  • Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl Th. Dreyer)
  • Writer: J. Sheridan Le Fanu (writer), Christen Jul (screenplay)
  • Producer/Production Co: Tobis Filmkunst
  • IMDb: (link)
  • Wikipedia: (link)
  • View Film: (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (perhaps equivalent to a G or a PG)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)

As a film produced independently of Lovecraft within his lifetime and thus unlikely to have any ties to him at all, this film is only mildly "Lovecraftian": the thoroughly (and surreally) Gothic film (based on a story by an author admired by Lovecraft, Sheridan Le Fanu) involves a gaunt, reclusive scholar who visits a creepy small European village with a dark secret, delves into ancient books to learn more about the sinister goings-on involving vampires, and then steps into a strange and sinister Dreamland to resolve the plot. The film is full of ominous imagery and strange special effects created with trick photography, such as disembodied shadows, reflections visible in streams and rivers of goblins and other creatures that are not visible in the real world, and other such things. When the main character even looks a bit like Lovecraft, one might be forgiven for thinking of this film as Vampyr: The Dream of Randolph Carter...

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Review by Keith Allison at Teleport City (link)) - "Carl Dreyer’s vision of a dark, supernatural world resulted in a film of profound beauty and an ability to unnerve rather than shock or scare. Like a vampire itself, the movie has the uncanny power to hypnotize the viewer, to pull them deeper and deeper into its murky, macabre procession of images."
  • Review by Scott Ashlin at 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting (3.5/5 Stars) (link) - ...the disorienting atmosphere and nightmarish imagery, which, given Dreyer’s deft touch with such things, is really a point in this movie’s favor."
  • Review by Lisa Marie Bowman at Through the Shattered Lens (link) - "... the film has such a hypnotic power that we automatically know that nothing happens by mere chance."
  • Review by Richard Schieb at The Science Ficton, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (4.5/5 Stars) (link) - "The result is a film of slow, somnolent atmosphere. You are drawn right into Carl Dreyer’s shadow-world, a place where rational explanations seem off-centred and the supernatural hovers just beyond the ken of reason. A constant ambience of dread lurks in the film..."
  • Review by Dave Sindelar at Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings (link) - The storyline can be quite hard to follow, and it is so full of haunting and memorable images, that it, more than any other movie I know of, feels like a bizarre, only partially remembered dream."

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

After Allan Gray rents a room near Courtempierre in France, strange events unfold: An elderly man leaves a packet on Gray's table, and shadows that are seemingly alive lead him toward a castle. At a nearby manor, he witnesses the same man being murdered and gradually learns about the curse of the Vampyr. As Gray faces the horrors of the castle, he attempts to save the victim's daughters -- one of whom, Léone, has fallen ill after mysteriously being bitten.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes