‘Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror’ rocks The Lyric

Audience+members+watch+Nosferatu+at+The+Lyric

Collegian | Sara Shaver

Audience members watch “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror” at The Lyric Sept. 9.

Ivy Secrest, Life and Culture Director

On Sept. 9, the Invincible Czars returned to The Lyric in Fort Collins to perform their live soundtrack to “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror,” a classic silent horror film directed by F. W. Murnau in 1922.  

Bringing in elevated elements of suspense and horror to the already eerie film, the Invincible Czars specialize in “cinematic, experimental ‘rock,’” according to their website. For silent films, that means setting an audible tone for the movie that was not possible at the time of its creation 100 years ago. 

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Maya Ortega, director of people operations at The Lyric, said this event combines The Lyric’s interests, which are music and film. 

“There is an intelligence that a silent film has to have and a simplicity that a silent film has to have that a lot of films don’t because it has to rely on being extremely translatable,” Ortega said. “If people are interested in stories and how they’re created, silent films are a great way to do that.”  

The film follows a couple as they combat the evils of Nosferatu, a vampire who has let loose a plague on their town. An expressionist film, Nosferatu is full of jump scares and terrifying happenings. 

Something about the older special effects, the black and white coloration and the terrifying old versions of monsters that are often sexualized in modern film (Count Orlok, the vampire, is not the attractive pining vampire of the Twilight era) created a creep-into-your-nightmares type of horror experience. 

“This is the best way you could see a silent movie nowadays because of the live orchestral performance.” -Maya Ortega, director of people operations at The Lyric

“Silent film is certainly not paid attention to in the way more modern films are,” Ortega said. 

The benefit of silent film is incredibly real and unique. It requires strong visual storytelling to make up for the lack of dialogue. This also entails being visually stimulating enough to maintain the audience’s attention. 

Despite these attributes, the musical accompaniment of the Invincible Czars didn’t detract from the skillful storytelling; rather, it deepened its grip on the audience. 

“It sort of changed our careers,” band member Josh Robins said. “That first tour we did with ‘Nosferatu,’ every show was selling out.” 

Events like this aren’t common in the average theater, but at The Lyric, it is the type of novelty it strives to provide the public. 

“This is the best way you could see a silent movie nowadays because of the live orchestral performance,” Ortega said. 

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Robins said they came to perform “Nosferatu” as their audience expanded from Austin, Texas, to a much larger touring circuit. Many people hadn’t seen this sort of performance outside of Texas, and they wanted to bring it to their fans. 

Fort Collins residents certainly enjoyed the quality of the performance, with several audience members being returning fans of the show. 

Robins said he enjoys performing in Fort Collins because of how open and welcoming the community is. 

“We can kind of relax here; other people like us are here,” Robins said. 

According to their website, the Invincible Czars are thanked for making this movie “actually scary” with each performance. Whether or not the film was scary before the music, the impact of the composition cannot be ignored, as the band certainly made “Nosferatu” a true “Symphony of Horror.”

Reach Ivy Secrest at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.