Friday, October 31, 2008

The Evocation of Mephisto

I thought I'd post something scary for Halloween. The following clip is taken from F.W. Murnau's 1926 adaptation of 'Faust'. In this scene, Faust, having found a book of the dark arts, attempts to conjure the demon Mephistopheles whilst in the middle of a crossroad, under a full and leprous moon. Murnau's skill at evoking the dread and power of the supernatural is something to behold. His skill at inducing chills up one's spine is simply legendary, and puts to shame the 'efforts' of so many derivative filmmakers who choose to focus on cheap thrills and loud noises to convey that feeling of dread we all love.

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