Nosferatu and the Lost Boys Films: Main Similarities


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A Comparison of the Vampire Figure in Nosferatu and The Lost Boys

The vampire figure is a reoccurring monster in cinema. The film Nosferatu (F.W Murnau, 1922) deals with the monster that is Count Orlok (Max Schreck), a vampire that is particularly invested in an innocent, married woman named Ellen Hutter (Greta Schröder), whom he eventually kills. The Lost Boys (Joel Schumacher, 1987) is a thriller, teen movie in which a group of vampires led by apparent leader, David (Kiefer Sutherland), wreck havoc in the city of Santa Carla and attempt to turn a newcomer to the town, Michael Emerson (Jason Patric), into a vampire. Both Count Orlok and David cause problems in their respective towns, but the distinct differences between the vampires are enough to change the entire dynamic of the vampire figure. The vampire figure in Nosferatu is horrifying due to their social isolation and gruesome outward appearance, while the vampire figure in The Lost Boys is viewed as an appealing “bad boy” who is integrated into society and visually appealing.

Nosferatu’s vampire, Count Orlok, is completely socially isolated. Count Orlok’s castle is far away from the rest of society, as indicated by Thomas Hutter’s (Gustav von Wangenhein), a relator, long journey through Germany. The castle is secluded and distant from the town, demonstrating that Count Orlok has isolated himself from society. Not only is his castle far away from the rest of society, but he also tells the relator, Thomas Hutter, that he wants a secluded house. This displays Count Orlok’s desire to remain isolated. Additionally, the carriage driver refuses to take Hutter even within sight of the castle, meaning that people do not want contact with Count Orlok because they are scared. Even if Count Orlok did desire contact with society, it is unattainable because the townspeople have no desire to see him, enforcing the isolation that Count Orlok has.

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However, the vampires in The Lost Boys are quite integrated into society and are not socially isolated. The group of vampires all live together and spend their waking hours with each other, demonstrating that the vampire figure is not alone, but instead has friends. The vampires also interact with society by going to the city boardwalk or a beach concert, indicating that the vampire figure wants to spend time and be apart of society. The vampire figure in The Lost Boys enjoys being out in society, whereas Count Orlok in Nosferatu has no desire to interact with society, thus socially isolating himself.

In Nosferatu, Count Orlok has a repulsive appearance. Count Orlok’s disturbing looks- his disproportionate ears, pale skin, and daunting eyes- make him look evil. Thomas Hutter’s face becomes shocked when he first sees Count Orlok because Count Orlok has such a horrifying appearance. This demonstrates that no one would want to attain any of Count Orlok’s looks because they repulse people. Other people do not deem the vampire figure in Nosferatu attractive. Before Count Orlok kills Ellen, she wears a face of repulsion and horror, solely based on Count Orlok’s appearance. This is before Count Orlok actually moves to suck Ellen’s blood. This displays that Count Orlok’s appearance alone marks him as a horrifying character before his actions.

David and his group of vampires have a desirable bad boy appearance by riding motorcycles, wearing leather jackets and earrings, and having dark tinted sunglasses. There is a scene displaying Michael buying a leather bomber jacket and dark sunglasses. These actions demonstrate a desire to achieve the same bad boy look of David and his fellow vampires. David also enthralls a beautiful girl named Star (Jami Gertz), which makes the look of the vampire figure in The Lost Boys even more desirable. Michael is jealous of David and does things to impress Star. These actions imply that David has something others want. The vampire figure in The Lost Boys has things others want to achieve, which is the opposite of Count Orlok, since no one desires any aspect of him.

While the vampires in Nosferatu and The Lost Boys differ greatly, it is crucial to mention that both are very driven by sex. Count Orlok desires to attack Ellen Hutter, a woman he finds arousing and beautiful. Michael, the “good vampire” gets himself into the predicament of becoming a vampire because he was driven by Star’s appearance. Had Michael not found Star sexually appealing, he would have never pursued her, thus never falling into the trap of becoming a vampire.

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