"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919), directed by Robert Wiene, is one of the best examples of German Expressionism. This film has the distinctive mise-en-sc'ne of that movement, with a scenography characterized by geometrical lines and sharp angles that along with a good use of light and darkness give the spectator the feeling of being immersed in a nightmare. Even though this is a silent movie, the viewer is never bored, but rather feels like part of what is happening, due to the fact that the story isn't slow, and also because the music helps to build the tension in the different scenes.
The story is told from the point of view of a young man who saw his life almost destroyed by the main character, Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss). Caligari visited his town and brought death with him, in the form of a somnambulist who predicted the future , Cesare (Conrad Veidt). Dr. Caligari was intent on studying the effects of somnambulism, because he wanted to know how far a sleepwalker would go if persuaded to do some things that would be contrary to his nature while awake, for example murdering someone. Of course, the whole thing was nothing else than a experiment for Caligari, a mad doctor that would have done anything in his pursuit of knowledge.
All in all, I think that this is a fairly entertaining film. It is short, but has an interesting plot and a twist at the end that you will never guess. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" isn't likely to be similar to other films you have previously seen, and even if you are familiar with German Expressionism, I sincerely believe you will enjoy it.