A week ago I dug through a collection of DVDs I owe to Mark Wright (patron of cinema) and found some films by F.W. Murnau I hadn’t scene. If you’re not familiar with Murnau, he was a pioneer of cinema; a German director responsible for Nosferatu (the first and best Dracula picture) and Sunrise, a masterpiece of silent cinema.
I was starving for horror and not the kind you find in the theaters these days. Horror, as a genre, is one of the most popular and most boring in current cinema. It’s stale and repetitive, void of inventiveness and life. Regardless of how much filmmakers are bent on finding new ways of telling zombie and vampire stories, they have lost the focus on what makes real horror.
So I returned to Murnau. His movie Faust reminded me of a different kind of scary film I haven’t seen in a while. These are based on darkness, light and shadow, the corruption and nature of evil, the devil and demonic forces. Images that will haunt you far longer than the hour to two hours that they pass before your eyes.
A good friend and collaborator, Spencer W. Carey, came in town and we decided to try our hand at the genre. I believe what we created, along with actor/producer Mina Mirkhah, is hard to classify. Inspired by these horror silents and wanting to create something modern, we re-told a cinematic legend involving Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and Ed Gein in one night at a local cemetery, passing the camera between each other, capturing in darkness and light what we found to be horror.
I suppose it could be called lo-fi and experimental. For this director it is just the first foray into horror.
Here is the movie, Augusta: The Plainfield Ghoul, and a short list of Horror films I recommend if you’re looking for more than the usual fare.
A list of original horror titles for your Halloween consumption:
1. Nosferatu (Werner Herzog)
2. Don’t Look Now (Nicholas Roeg)
3. The Devils (Ken Russell)
4. Gothic (Ken Russell)
5. Faust (F.W. Murnau)