Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 Vampyr is a film brimming with oddities, eccentricities and an unsettling sense of other-wordly horror. In Vampyr it is not so much the story itself but the manner in which itstold that creates such a unique impression of unease and horror. The intentionally washed-out film lulls the viewer into a hazy hypnotic dream world where unattached shadows scamper and dance before our eyes, translucent souls step out of their worldly bodies, and the simplest patterns and landscapes combine to convey a sense of foreboding and mystery. It is Dreyer’s experimental license and intuitive knack for evoking unsettled emotional states that have made Vampyr an art-house classic, presaging the later work of Hitchcock and David Lynch.
Not So Silent Cinema’s score is a moody, surreal mix of acoustic and electronic elements. Violin, clarinet, piano and bass combine to evoke an old-world, Eastern-European soundscape, along with analog electronic textures, giving the score a dark, transcendental element.