Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Roman Polasnki and Gerard Brach
Cinematographer: Douglas Slocombe
by Tory Maddox
As with Cronenberg, you can spot Polanski’s style from the first scene. I’m not sure why I held off on watching this film for so long. I think I just assumed it was going to be a sophomoric film by a soon-to-be master, even though Knife in the Water (1962) demonstrated that Polanski was a master from his first feature, along with Cul-De-Sac (1966) and Repulsion (1965) coming out a few years before. I think it was the awful title and cover art that conveys a slapstick or cheesy comedy. Either way I was wrong. This movie contains some of the most interesting faces and characters in all of Polanski’s work. It’s a movie that immerses you with these two main characters as they navigate through a surrealistic Transylvanian winter, hunting for the vampires, trying to stay warm. It’s not so much what’s going on in the immediate so much as the background. The Inn’s patrons, owners, and employees all mix together to create such a unique and original destination that we never worry about plausibility. Similar to The Ninth Gate (1999), the movie plays in a cartoon style. It's not scary it’s just fun. We witness the early stages of Polanski’s uncanny ability to create and cast such memorable characters. It’s not his finest film, but it’s one of his his most fun. The film also features Sharon Tate before she met her tragic, and far more terrifying end.
BELOW: Should give you a decent taste of the film's surrealistic and bizarre style
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