Vampyr ★★★

I've been looking forward to Vampyr for a while, but it didn't quite land for me. It's as moody and atmospheric as I expected, but it goes in fits and starts--the interstitials detract more than they add. Just as I felt myself getting into it, a bunch of text would show up. I get they're a concession to the technology available at the time, but I genuinely think the movie would be stronger without a Star Wars opening crawl worth of text every fifteen minutes for the first two acts.

There's still a lot I did really like though! The ghost/burial sequence that takes up most of the movie's third act is excellent, and the final shots are incredibly haunting. I also really respect how much the movie is willing to just be a stylized tone piece. Between the score and the shot composition, the movie is really good at building tension and developing a sense of dread. It's too dated to really be scary at this point, but the influence on some of my favorite contemporary horror movies is incredibly clear.

I may have to revisit it at some point--I'm the first to admit I haven't seen enough movies from this era, and it's possible the formal elements I liked will come together better when I've adjusted to early cinema better. I dunno, on paper this is a movie I should love and it just isn't resonating in the way I had hoped.