Considered one of the first true horror films, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tells the tale of a crazed “doctor” who acquires a permit at a small town carnival, where he unleashes his latest spectacle - a man inside of a wooden box, a “somnambulist” named Caesar.
Caesar remains in a state of prolonged sleep and only wakes at the command of Caligari. Soon, many mysterious murders occur in the town, and before long, people begin to suspect that Caligari and Caesar may be the guilty parties.
In a sleepwalking state and under Caligari’s spell, Caesar roams the town at night, taking victim after victim. A man named Francis takes it upon himself to stop the two monsters, no matter what the cost.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a silent German classic, which makes iconic use of German Expressionism as far as production design is concerned. Before the film was released in 1920, no one had ever witnessed anything quite like it. It has gone on to inspire some of the major artists of our generation, such as Tim Burton.
Director Robert Wiene was a true visionary, and this film has gone on to become a favorite amongst cineastes and horror fanatics. To this day, it still remains a terrifying experience - and the “twist ending” has lost none of its power.
Kino has released the film on a stellar Blu-ray edition that should be included in the library of every serious collector. Special features include a documentary, two separate film scores, and two restoration featurettes - and much more!