PLOT: Mysterious murders are occurring in a small village and all signs point to the hypnotist Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist Cesare.
Usually for these, I’d go into a breakdown of the gore, the scares, and if there’s any sex or nudity in the film. For The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the iconic films of the silent era, that seems to be a waste of time and digital ink. There isn’t any relevant score for all three of those categories, but for any fan of film, this is a must-watch to get a better understanding as to how far we’ve come in the medium.
Admittedly, I think that The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is just okay. This is another first-time watch for me and it wraps up 31 Days of Horror this year and I can acknowledge what it means to film history, but it doesn’t hold up that well. The German expressionism visuals are impressive and the influence can still be seen today, in modern horror movies like The Babadook, for example, but I’d be lying if I said that the film held my attention throughout. Part of it is just the fact that it’s a silent film and the filmmaking techniques were still in their infancy. I can’t discredit it for that, but I’d say it doesn’t help to keep my attention. In comparison, I honestly felt more invested in contemporary films like Nosferatu and Metropolis more than this one, but I can’t really fault it for my short attention span.
If you’re a completionist, you should give this one a view. The visuals are stunning, especially for the time period, and this one is basically Film History 101. You’re probably better off watching this in a theater setting, though, as I found myself looking at my phone from time to time.
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
That’s officially a wrap on 31 Days of Horror! After trying for three years to make it to 31 and falling short, this year I was finally able to do it. It wasn’t easy, but it feels like an accomplishment. The Main Damie will continue to put out content as we head into November, but for 31 Days of Horror, we’ll see you next year!