Germany has certainly established itself a creative hotbed for horror fanatics over the years.
Unlike other genres, horror films were groundbreaking in the early years of cinema because they thrived in the silent era of expressionism and visual storytelling. And, in the aftermath of World War One and establishment of Weimar democracy, Germany went through a huge boom in creative energy that had been held back in the years prior, effectively setting it out as the number place in the world for all things horror. Underground movements especially began to revel in this energy, producing movies that shocked and terrified audiences all manner of taboo subjects being thrust onto the big screen for the first time.
And this identity of expression and creativity has continued on throughout German history.
Whilst other regions have often championed movies that depict valiant heroes triumphing over evil, Germany has always had a film scene that delights in dealing with all things sombre and wicked in this world. It's hard to think of a country whose movies are as reflective of the times as Germany and their horror flicks but it all only helps to sell the scares more and create some of the most terrifying films ever produced.
10. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920)
An absolute timeless piece of cinema that has terrified audiences for over a hundred years now, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of the most influential and lauded German horror movies ever produced.
Considered the absolute quintessential piece of expressionist work to have emerged from the silent era of German cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was directed by veteran filmmaker Robert Wiene and stars Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt. Considered so terrifying for its time that it had female members of the audiences screaming in horror during its initial run, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari helped birth the film noir movement around the world and has become famous for its dark and twisted distinct style of art, as well as its unique take on reliable narratives and storytelling.
The script for the movie was written by Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz, two pacifists during World War One that became distrustful of authority and figures of power, and this influence can be seriously felt in the story that revolves around the deranged hypnotist ordering his victim to kill for him.
One of the first true examples of dark and fantastical horror hitting the big screen, and dealing with so many unique and complex themes, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is an absolute go-to for any horror fan looking to pay homage to the genre's historical roots.