Somewhere in Eastern Europe 1922… Filming F. W. Murnau's classic vampire movie, Noferatu, is being disrupted not only by funding problems, but by rumours of disappearances and deaths amongst and cast and crew. On the first night of shooting, the cameraman mysteriously takes ill and collapses… Some days later, his replacement falls into a trance and never recovers… Leading man Max Shreck (Willem Dafoe) is never introduced to the cast and crew and he is never seen out of character. Hapless actor Gustav (Eddie Izzard) thinks his sinister co-star is the ultimate method actor. In fact, director Murnau (John Malkovich) has sealed a pact with Shreck offering him the neck of his leading lady (Catherine McCormack) at the end of the shoot if he delivers the ultimate performance for the camera. Stranded on an island, the crew must finish the film before Shreck's bloodlust becomes incontrollable.