The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

As always, when I have disappeared from this blog for a while, it’s because I have to review a horror movie that I don’t want to. In this case, however, it’s not because said horror movie is a boring piece of shit that isn’t entertaining enough to dump all over. This time it’s because it’s an actual good film with significant cultural impact that scholars and film students like to study and say multisyllabic words about and the whole point of my blog is that I just say dick and farts a bunch and don’t have to think about things.



Okay, here we go.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is from 19 freakin 20 and it is known as the first real horror movie ever to horror. (Or at least it’s the first one that anyone really gave a shit about. There were horrors in the 1890s, but they weren’t as influential as this one and also they were probably very boring because people in the 1890s were probably still afraid of top hats or whatever. 1920 rules, 1890 drools.) (I’m just joshin ya, the 1890s loved a good top hat. Who doesn’t.) (They probably did drool though, because they all had syphilis. Moving on.) It was a silent German expressionist film that was symbolically about WWI and the complete power of authority blah blah blah symbolism is for nerds. The point is that even if you don’t feel like learning about how the film predicts the rise of Hitler and Germany’s willingness to obediently submit to a deranged authority figure leading them into hell as well as the subjective nature of reality that exists as a duality of sanity and insanity as perceived by our impressionable and fragile human minds yadda yadda nerd nerd nerd, this movie is still fucking great.

The plot doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this post, but if you’re completely unfamiliar, it’s about one Dr. Caligari who has the power to animate a sleepwalker that he keeps in a box to go murder people at night. That’s basically it. Except for the twist ending that I won’t ruin because it inspired like a billion future twist endings in movies to come and it’s kind of fun to see one of the first times someone pulled that shit. It’s not particularly scary to a modern audience, because remember, this is still a time when people lost their minds over hat-related issues. But it looks cool as hell.

German expressionism is creepy as fuck, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari takes full advantage of how the art style can take normal things and make them surreal and pointy and twisted. The entire world is designed in jagged edges and bold shadows, chairs that are too tall, doorways at dramatic angles, grass that looks like knives. Though it was intended for mass consumption at the time, it has become an art film over time, and it’s really striking to watch. I can’t say enough good things about this movie, as much as I don’t feel like talking about it because I barely get to say dicks AT ALL. 😦

In the interest of moving onto dumber and funnier things (I’m about to review like eight Children of the Corn movies so hold onto your fucking…corn, I guess. There’s going to be a lot of corn.) I’m going to just wrap this up, but if you haven’t seen The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, you have to. It’s gorgeous, it’s only about an hour long, it’s on Netflix, and you get to feel all hipster superior for watching a silent German expressionist film for fun. Grab a $15 craft beer and enjoy.


Thank CHRIST, I’ll be able to make dick jokes about corn soon.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari