Studio 8 is pressing ahead with an untitled vampire horror pic that will serve as an update of the classic 1922 Nosferatu, having tapped The Witch writer-director Robert Eggers to take the reins on the project.
Eggers, who won the directing prize at Sundance this year for his period chiller The Witch, will both write and direct the “visceral” remake of F.W. Murnau’s influential silent film about the titular vampire rife throughout Eastern European folklore.
Vampires have been a staple of big screen horror lately, between action-oriented reimaginings of the Count Dracula legend (Dracula Untold) and innovative, genre-blending stories about bloodsuckers (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Only Lovers Left Alive, What We Do in the Shadows). With remakes as bankable as ever, it makes depressing sense that an old relic like Nosferatu would get a dusting-off sooner or later.
Luckily, it could be worse – Eggers drew particular praise for creating a wholly eerie atmosphere on The Witch, which was set in mid-17th-century New England. Such a knack will come in very handy if he’s to have any hope of doing right by the haunting work Murnau did on the original Nosferatu.
Still, it’s more than a little frustrating that so much of horror these days involves putting slight spins on already-existing material. The Poltergeist remake recently demonstrated the pitfalls of being too faithful to the source material and therefore forgetting to showcase any sort of distinctive identity, while others like 2011’s The Thing just completely missed the point of what made the original such a classic. Eggers is going to have to toe the line there with deference, intelligences and at least a few of his own ideas if he’s to succeed in rebooting an age-old masterpiece like Nosferatu. But even if he does, it’s a little dismaying to see the name being used as a selling point when there are certainly still opportunities to create interesting and original vampire stories.
What say you, horror fans? Good idea, or bad idea?