Summary: The Cabinet Of Dr. Calligari

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Plan - Different subheadings, driven by key questions, detail history and film, fear itself, origins, today, etc.

In 1920, two years after the conclusion of the Great War in November of 1918, a film was released in Germany that captured the spirit of men who had just returned from the front. It was a horror film, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, detailing a mad doctor and his sideshow act, a young somnambulist (or sleepwalker) named Cesare that, when awakened by Caligari, could perceive the future. Cesare could also foresee death. Erstwhile in the era that it was made, entire nations grappled with the meaning of human life. If men could be slaughtered so effectively, so willfully, so carelessly as they were in World War 1, did life hold any value or virtue at all? Cesare embodied homecoming soldiers, asleep until awakened by their masters to prophesize death, and then commit murder. He was a curiosity of the human mind, a being that understood
Dr. Caligari is arguably the first modern horror movie. It wielded the anxiety of its era as a
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An interdimensional being that claims to be “the eater of worlds, and of children”, It takes the shape of whatever its prey fears or longs for the most. In the It movies, this manifests as an abusive father, of other movie monsters such as the Wolfman, of a dead father. The main form of It, however, is Pennywise The Dancing Clown. Because It is a story about coming-of-age, a story about children and their fears, the clown represents the ultimate form of terror as it is a perversion of a childhood icon into something that is terrifying and evil. Pennywise, or It, attempts to manipulate the children in the story into submitting to them, being afraid, “because [they] taste so much better when [they’re] afraid.” More than that though, It is a being that exists to terrorize. It is the metaphorical representation of fear itself, all-encompassing and for all individuals and

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