‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ (1920) Capsule Review

By Casey Campbell

Often cited as the first horror movie ever made, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a stylish and brash German expressionistic feat, only showing it’s age in short stints. It’s silent and almost 100 years old, but it still manages to convey a morbid tension and creative visual scheme. Its age is apparent (not its fault) but that doesn’t hinder the film. Like the best, most memorable old movies of the early 1900’s, Dr. Caligari manages to hold your interest with its story, acting, and the dream-like sets.

Image result for the cabinet of dr. caligari
Werner Krauss in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Courtesy of Kanopy Streaming.

The sets are utterly absorbing and captivating. Caligari favors a bizarre dreamy style over natural realism and maintains character which goes so far as to inform the latter part of the story – and the ultimate twist.

All in all, Caligari is great. It’s another one of those old movies that’s still remembered today for good reason.  Check it out.

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