The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Plato

By Jordan Hansgen

I believe that we were supposed to watch the The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to see the early styles of film and see if we can derive some similarities between that time in the film industry and also the films that we watch and can relate to now.  The film had similar horror style tropes to the horror genre we see today with mystery and the supernatural in addition to a surprise twist ending which is common in films now.  One name from today that the twist ending is common for is M. Night Shyamalan who made the sixth sense and other suspenseful films with twist endings.


I noticed in the film the unique lens color changes.  It was a simple way to change the feelings that each scene portrays.  I also noticed that the scenes were faster and straight to the point considering that it is a silent film and the lines need to be easily read and fit onto the screen.

I would describe the visual style as pretty interesting and impressive for the time period.  It was very artistic and definitely accomplished the goal of being creepy and scary.  I also did not anticipate the twist ending and was very surprised by it.

While also reading Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and thinking about its relationship to film.  The film viewers are all in the same boat not knowing what will happen next in the film and therefore are ignorant of the knowledge that the filmmaker has.  They are like the people imprisoned in Plato’s allegorical cave.  This is why the twist endings are often so surprising.  The new knowledge can be overwhelming to the audience.

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