Original: Nosferatu (1922)
Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor, Walter Ladengast
In the mood for a waking nightmare? Check out the 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu, in which the enigmatic German actor Max Schreck gives one of the creepiest "method acting" performances of all time to play the eponymous vampire. A ghoulish amalgamation of fully committed actors, discomfiting Gothic sets, and mind-scarring imagery (Nosferatu's shadow on the staircase; the undead Nos emerging from his coffin without bending a single muscle), director F.W. Murnau's film is a crowning achievement in paralyzing fear.
Meaning, it's undoubtedly a daunting motion picture to remake, if not only for the challenge of finding an actor capable of doing Schreck's original work any shred of justice. In 1979, though, Werner Herzog pulled off the seemingly impossible with Nosferatu the Vampyre, a remarkable slice of atmospheric freakiness bolstered by star Klaus Kinski's masterful turn as the titular vamp and an unexpected undercurrent of dark comedy.