February 26, 1920: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Premiers

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Kids, you might not know this, but  I run a little Halloween horror site when I’m not filling in here at the glamorous basement offices of Superficial Gallery.  So when I started throwing something together arduously researching for today’s post and saw that The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, known as the first horror film in history, premiered on this day in 1920, I knew I would have to make you all suffer through it write about it for this week’s column.

Although tame by today’s standards, this turn of the century German Expressionist silent film tells the bizarre tale of Dr. Caligari, a creepy carnival performer with a near-mute sidekick, the prescient sleepwaker Cesare. Add in a string of brutal murders, a sinister asylum, dark, distorted visuals, and an eerie twist at the end, and you have all the elements of the modern horror story.  Got an hour to spare?  Make some popcorn, turn the lights low and watch the full film right below.