I was 20 when I first saw Nosferatuand I wasn’t expecting much. I think some boy I liked at the time got tickets to one of the famous Alamo Drafthouse’s “Rolling Roadshows” which involved driving and then hiking out into a state park in the dark to this sort of “moonscape” of rocks and watching Nosferatu on a full-size inflatable drive-in screen in the woods with a live score from those symphonic crazies, Brown Whornet.
Granted, you’ll probably not be able to recreate this experience at home but turn off the lights and pop in this 1922 silent flick (yes I know the link says 1929, it’s wrong) and you’ll have a serious case of the creeps. It is the definitive vampire movie and a revelation for those of us who were first exposed to the genre with Coppola’s entertaining but overwrought Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
I know vampires are “in” now what with that show with the guy who bought it in one of the Harry Potters and all, but I don’t really know anything about that (are they really about sparkly Mormon vampires? Embarrassing!) but this is my favorite of the genre and as much as I love Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman, no one will ever be a better vampire than super-creepy Max Schreck.
If you wanted to make it a double feature, rent Shadow of the Vampire where Willem Defoe plays Max Schreck as a real vampire pretending to be a vampire during the filming of Nosferatu. It’s all very meta.