Emblematic among the Expressionist genre, it portrays society full of befouled sentiments, fears with a still unsettling suspension of reality and fantasy. With sinister vindictiveness against normality, Caligari (the character and the film) remains a paradox; a paradox orchestrated in the angular sets and the crooked paths in a symphony of nightmarish hierarchy and megalomania of authority. A hypnotic masterpiece.
Lynch before Lynch; an obvious influence on films like Lost Highway & Mulholland Drive, where the shame of a crime is deconstructed & put back together again; allowing a character to see it through someone else's eyes. The set-design is rightly celebrated, presenting a world distorted by its narrator's warped psyche, clueing us in to the artificiality of his recollection, but it's also a film full of tremendous pain.