This is the story of F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) who is struggling to create his silent horror classic "Nosferatu" on location in Eastern Europe.
The director is obsessed with making this the most authentic vampire movie ever. To that end, Murnau has employed a real vampire, Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe), explaining to the crew that he is the ultimate of that new breed, the "method actor".
Schreck will appear only in character and only at night. In return for an outstandfing performance from Schreck, and keeps his vampiric urges under control, Murnau has promised him the neck of the film's star, Greta Schroeder (Catherine McCormack).
It soon becomes clear that Schreck is unwilling or unable to control his bloodlust.
However, during the very first night's shoot, the cinematographer, Wolfgang Muller (Ronan Vibert) mysteriously takes ill and collapses. Murnau takes him to a hospital in Berlin and looks for a replacement.
During the break, producer Albin Grau (Udo Kier) and scriptwriter Henrick Galeen (John Gillet) are sharing a drink when the strange Schreck joins them, answering their questions "in character." He tells them about his wife who died in childbirth but still returned to him at nights, and made him what he is now.
As the director returns with a new photographer, Fritz Wagner (Cary Elwes,) Schreck continues his silent assault on the crew. Galeen realizes the truth behind Schreck's "method acting," but too late.
Murnau must now engage in a battle of wills with his monstrous male lead, the ultimate in demanding movie stars.
As Murnau finally admits the truth to the crew, they realize they are stranded on an island and their only hope of survival is to finish the film and let Schreck take Greta...
Starring :John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard, Aden Gillett, Ronan Vibert, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Nicholas Elliott, Derek Kueter, Sophie Langevin, Tania Marzen, Myriam Muller, Orian Williams, and more..