MovieChat Forums > The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Discussion > anyone had a similar experience with thi...

anyone had a similar experience with this film?


I've just read a review for the film and there's one part that really made me curious: "WARNING - I would NOT show this film to children. It's very subtly and psychologically undermining - you'll be thinking and freaking about this thing for months to come"

Now, I wasn't thinking about what the effects of showing it to children would be, but I was curious if anybody has actually been so plagued by the film to actually be "freaking" about it for months.

I've yet to see it, but I've been meaning to do so for a while.

reply

Honestly, I'd go in with no expectations whatsoever. That's what I did when I first saw this--a cousin of mine recommended it to me when I started getting into German expressionist movies, and I had no clue what to expect when I first watched it. Long story short, it's one of my favorites.


If your enemy refuses to be humbled....DESTROY HIM!

reply

Pretty sure that the vast majority kids wouldn't have the patience to watch this...

reply

What's your definition of a kid? I saw it when I was 12, and I loved it. I didn't freak out, although it gave me a good case of the creeps for the rest of the evening. I did get to see it in a theater, a good print, and the right speed, with live music.

Sometimes silent films are unintentionally funny, because they get played at the wrong speed.

reply

It's very dream-like/nightmarish with its set design and colours. Plus everyone's faces with the make-up and lighting are exaggerated and gothic. I can imagine this freaking some children out because of its odd appearance.

I'm a fountain of blood
In the shape of a girl

reply

Freaking out about it for months? Surely that's an exaggeration. A powerful film, yes, but does any movie really have that kind of power anymore?

A child would probably be bored to tears by this. Still, you never know. I remember one writer on horror movies, Kendall R. Phillips, talking about his young daughter watching the 1931 Dracula without batting an eye, but when she came in the room during the scene in the 1931 Frankenstein, when Karloff first appears backing into the camera and slowly turning, she ran away in fear.

reply

A fair few movies still have the power to freak me out - and I'm 33! The power of a film very much depends on who is watching it and the disposition of that person. That's my two pence worth! I'd let a child 10+ watch it, if they wanted to, and talk them through it. Very well done film!

reply

I would say that for most modern children, this would not be of much interest, though of course there are exceptions. To me, it requires a certain maturity to properly appreciate. When I first viewed it, I think I was mainly struck by its strangeness and probably didn't quite comprehend it all. I've now seen it 4 times and really love it. For such an old film, it still manages to be eerie, provocative and unique.

reply

and talk them through it
One of the joys for me was understanding the story and what the characters said to each other simply by watching them act. There are intertitles, yes, but not for all dialog. The acting is good enough though that you can piece together what the characters are saying to each other even in those shots that don't have intertitles. If you talk someone through it, you take a piece of the joy away in my opinion. If i would watch this with a child i would sit next to them, watch their reactions and explain only if they had questions.

reply

That is beyond merely laughable, if anyone actually wrote that "warning." I just watched the film and there is absolutely nothing in it to merit such a statement. My goodness. No blood, no gore, no monsters....zero. There is one character who sleeps in a box much resembling a coffin, and there I can agree that someone watching (who doesn't know the character is sleeping) might think the person is dead, and then 'becomes alive' when he awakes....but 'thinking about this for months to come'...as in 'scared-to-death' or 'mentally scarred'....is a joke. There is nothing in this film that comes anywhere near such a description. Any run-of-the-mill slasher film (or video game) would be much more powerful than this, in that regard.

reply