(Review originally written at 24 October 2005)

This is yet another expressionistic masterpiece from the golden age of German cinema, when movie-making was still considered to be truly art in its purest form.

"Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari" is an quite odd looking but because of that also unique movie. It's expressionism at its very best. The sets are absolutely fascinating looking to say the least. The sets are shaped weirdly and because of that the movie gets perhaps a bit of a nightmarish feeling. For the fans of expressionistic cinema this is simply most definitely a must see.

Another thing I absolutely love about this movie is the story. It's quite difficult to follow and understand at times and lots of it is left up to the viewers their own interpretation of the story and the ending in particular.

The movie has a wonderful horror moody atmosphere that inspired many later movies from the '20's and '30's and maybe also even '40's of the last century. Before this movie many other short horror movies were made but this movie is widely considered to be the first feature length horror movie.

The actors in the movie are quite charismatic. Werner Krauss as Dr. Caligari is really creepy at times, this is helped by his convincing looking make-up. He was only 35 during the making of this movie but the make-up makes him look like an 65 year old. Another charismatic character is played by Conrad Veidt who plays the somnambulist, Cesare. Veidt would also later play Major Strasser in the classic movie "Casablanca" from 1942.

It's an odd and unusual looking movie but the sets and story successfully make this an unforgettable and highly influential, early horror movie, from the German expressionistic period of cinema.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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