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Themes of Dracula and Nosferatu

            Although the film Nosferatu is based off Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, many differences are present that significantly change several aspects of the way viewers perceive the film when compared to the novel. Nosferatu expands on the theme of invasion and predator versus prey in order to create fear from the typical viewer's perspective. During the time when both Dracula and Nosferatu were created, Europeans, namely the British, were terrified of the prospect of having their home country invaded by a foreign, mysterious country. Murnau intentionally changes the names and locations of the characters to bring the story closer to what the target audience was used to, while keeping the foreign aspects very similar to the novel. Murnau, being a German filmmaker, created this film to target a German audience, thus it follows that Murnau changes the names of the characters to sound German, and completely moves the setting of "home" to a the small German town of Bremen. For example, Harker is changed to Hutter, and Mina is changed to Ellen. Murnau changes many of the aspects of the hometown of the protagonist, from the large city of London to Bremen, a small city with narrow streets. In Dracula, the main characters rarely interact with Londoners, while in Nosferatu several citizens of Bremen are shown, such as the town crier. Murnau also stirs empathy within the viewer for not only the plight of protagonists, but also the deaths of several inhabitants of the town, fortifying the relationship between the audience and what they see as home (Bremen). The fact that Bremen is rather small when compared to London adds the aspect of vulnerability to home, while also introducing the theme of predation, with Bremen being a small, helpless prey. .
             Murnau enlarges foreign traits of Orlock and Transylvania in order to increase the terror the viewer feels towards the foreignness of Orlock in order to differentiate between what is from home and what is invading.

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