Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3: 31 Days of Horror: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari 1920)

There's something about silent horror movies that really gets to me. I think a lot of silent movies are a bit creepy, well, at least the ones that I have seen, but they also have quite a lot of beauty to them. I love The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Dr. Caligari focuses on a terrible memory that a man, Francis, and his wife-to-be have recently experienced. It all starts once the man visits the county fair and sees the Dr.'s act with his somnambulist Cesare, who when awakened from his slumber in the cabinet, is able to tell secrets of the future. A man asks Cesare what his future entails and he is informed by him that he will die by dawn the next morning. After this, a series of homicides begin to plague the town. No one is sure who is behind these heinous attacks, but they soon end up becoming suspicious of Dr. Caligari and his mysterious counterpart. Are they as creepy as they seem or is something else going on? Watch to find out.

This movie is extremely well done. I think that the set is my favorite part. I love the design of the buildings and the town as a whole. It seems as though this sort of design really influenced the art direction of Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

Werner Krauss, the actor who plays Dr. Calgari, was a genius. He knew how to contort his face into some very freaky grimaces. The makeup and lighting in the film really add to the scare factor. So awesome!


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