In the little village of Holstenwall on the Dutch border, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare who has been asleep for twenty-three years. At night, dressed in a black body-stocking and with a ghostly white face, he slithers through the town murdering people on the doctor's orders. A student has his suspicions about Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.
The finished film, originally released with an elaborate green, brown and cold blue tints, thrust German cinema to world prominence and had a tremendous influence on cinematic art worldwide with a quality that still impresses today.
★★★★★ "As eerily beautiful as ever" - Anna Smith, Empire
★★★★★ "Thrilling, chilling, electrifying" - Mark Kermode, The Observer
★★★★★ "This strange and fascinating classic of the silent era set the template for today's scary movies, noirs and thrillers" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian