The Horrific events of the first world war caused grusome injuries and deep deppresion over Germany. Suffering a hummilinating defeat and now stark and gloomy living conditions, for many Germans they where looking for a sense of escape from the anxieties of their new lives. From the ashes of war appeared two ex-soilders, scarred by the German goverment and that acts they where forced to commit. Carl Mayer and Hanz Janowitz decided to write a expressionist screen play on how the masses can get hypnotized by the goverment and commit awful acts for them. “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” was born.
The first psychlogical horror genre film of its time, Caliagri used artificial set designs that looked twisted and eerie combined with stark lighting and harsh shadows producing an unearthly, nightmarish location. These expressionist set designs where forward thinking at the time and has been “Branded as the first “art Film” the first movie to bring the ideas of Picasso ,Braque and Duchamp to the screen” - “ the first significant attempt at the expressionism of a creative mind in the medium of cinematography”
Creepy characters enhanced by outrageous make-up and jerky manourisms, dwarfed by the twisted, dark set designs with their quirky veiwpoints and perspectives, bring together a sense of paranoia of this nightmarish world. Everything about the film throws you off balance not knowing if you are in a interior or exterior world of who done it and is this real.
These techniques have been adapted and recreated in recent hollywood films, such as Tim Burton’s, “Edward Scissorhands” and “BeetleJuice”, which use all the formula’s and essence of Calgari, making it such a iconic film.