(out of 5)
Gorgeous, dreamlike images fill the screen throughout this loose adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, an early Danish sound film by Carl Theodor Dreyer rooted in silent techniques but featuring synchronized dialogue. The gauzy black and white images focus on a man obsessed with the supernatural, who shows up at a country inn looking for trouble and finds it. Strange characters, odd occurrences (shadows that move independently of people), and a young woman suffering from “anemia” could just be coincidence, but when he finds a book on the history vampires, he knows exactly what lies beneath the seemingly innocent veneer. It’s not as polished as Nosferatu, and the slow pace and lack of big reveals will frustrate the more casual viewer to no end, but Dreyer’s fans will love the application of his ecclesiastically somber style to such profane material.
Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
Cinematography by Rudolph Mate
Produced by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Julian West
Music by Wolfgang Zeller
Production Design by Hermann Warm
Film Editing by Tonka Taldy