Happy Friday the 13th! I don’t know if you have any plans, but as for me I’m going to spend my evening with pizza and horror films.
Speaking of Horror films I have been getting ready trying to pick out which ones I’ll use for Horrorfest X, my yearly Halloween countdown, but I’ve also been going through old posts and looking at the ones from the original Horrorfest, and thinking some of these movies Catherine Morland would love as they are full of gothic-y goodness.
Then I thought, why not start a new series, a list of only the good Gothic like horror films for the other Catherine Morland/Henry Tilney spooky people out there? It will only contain movies that I strongly recommend-none of the films that are poorly written or have a lot of issues. And unlike my other lists, this will be a one stop list for people looking for recommendations, while the original posts will only be done during Horrorfest.
So films on this list are going to be Gothic films or films with Gothic components. For those who are wondering what classifies something as a Gothic, here is the definition.
Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance.
Any films I have already reviewed that fit for this list I will just list and link here, while any future film I review I will add a little specifically why it belongs on this list. I have 9 years of films I have watched/reviewed for Horrorfest, but I’m not sure how many of those will be on her. For now I’m going to put on the ones I have recently re-edited, and then will be adding more constantly. If you are looking for recommendations, be sure to check back for more:
This was back before I had established the “rules” of Horrorfest, one being always review the original film first.
It was an amaaaaaazing adaption! It used the original backgrounds from this movie and was full of talented actors, I highly recommend it. It is probably one of the best remakes I have ever seen.
And you know me, I’m not a remake person.
Well, every year since then I have thought I need to review the original, and with me being in my seven year of blogging (Horrorfest VIII), it is time to actually review the original 1920 version.
So this film was influenced by the life experiences of Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Janowitz served as an officer in WWI and was very embittered by his experiences. Mayer feigned illness to try and get out of service, as he was a pacifist-and spent a lot of time in an asylum and under intense examinations. In fact, Dr. Caligari is based off a doctor that Janowitz was forced to talk to (and really didn’t like).
The two met through an actor friend of theirs and the inspiration to write the film came through Janowitz’s friend Gilda Langer. Mayer was in love with Langer, and she became the basis for the “Jane” character (the one that is in the love triangle with the two best friends.)
One day Gilda took Janowitz to a fortune teller who predicted that Janowitz would survive the war but Gilda would die. When Gilda died unexpectedly in 1920, that experience influenced the scene when Cesar predicts Alan’s death.
There are conflicting stories regarding who exactly wrote, planned, directed, filmed, etc-did what, something that will most likely never be settled. When this film first came ouot there were actually protests regarding the film when it showed in LA as Germany was still not very popular in 1920. People were still upset over World War I
This style of film and the background artwork reminds me of the Bauhaus movement, with its style and a bit of Metropolis. Dr. Caligari is supposed to represent the German government being in control and dictating others, while Cesare the solider-those who have been conditioned to kill. The rest of the characters are the people being lulled, hypnotized, and controlled.
The set is beautiful-painted, angles, and nothing is quite right giving the film a demented and creepy space. This disjointed feeling really adds to the question, is the main character telling the truth? Or are they insane.
So it is hard to review this film as I reviewed the amazing remake that actually copied every scene perfectly-but I’ll try.
The film starts at the end when the main character, Francis, is speaking to an old man about his fiancé. This one feels creepier than the remake as the music is completely eerie and the actors have to overact as this is a silent film. Everyone eyes bug out and they just freak you out. Serious chills!
So Francis starts sharing how his fiancé has been through such a strange event that she will never be the same again. She walks every night in a trance, and does not speak anymore. Francis starts to recount his story…
We go back in time to a city and place that we don’t know where it belongs. The backgrounds are amazing and slanted.
A man comes to the main hall to get a permit for his carnival. He calls himself Dr. Caligari, and speaks of having a psychic who can reveal all’s future. The clerk is in a BAD mood, and is extra rude to Dr. Caligari and forces him to pay an exuberant amount of money. Caligari does and walks away, but all does not seem to bode well for this clerk.
The next day he is dead. Murdered.
Then we are introduced to Alan, who is stopping by to visit his friend Francis and is begging him to partake in some kind of adventure. We learn that Alan has been combating depression and has been holing himself away these past months, even having to visit an asylum. He however, is feeling much better and convinces Francis to see the fair with him, “for old times sake”.
On the way they meet up with Jane Stern, a girl they are both madly in love with. Both are eager to get an answer from her as to who her choice will be, but she manages to slip away and into the night. The friends say good-bye and to the fair.
They stop at the fair and see the psychic Cesare. Cesare is a “living dead” man who can foretell all. He lives in a coffin, only being released every once in a while, Cesare is really creepy-the faces he makes.
Francis wants to leave, but Alan is rooted to the floor. When Dr. Caligari calls on him to ask a question, Alan is compelled to answer. He is physically incapable of leaving or turning away. He asks Cesare his question, but all does not go well.
“Alan: How long shall I live? Cesare: The time is short. You die at dawn!”
Francis quickly grabs Alan out of the tent and fearing a relapse in his friend, reassures him that Cesare’s tricks are stupid and do not mean a thing.
The next day Alan is dead. Murdered.
This horrible tragedy leads Francis on a path of reality so intermingled with insanity that one can hardly tell the fact from fiction. Francis is so sure that Dr Caligari killed his friend, that he becomes obsessed with finding proof. Is he trying to stop a mad killer? Or has he experienced such trauma he has reconstructed reality?
So while the remake tries to leave you guessing whether it is real or not, whether he is crazy or if he knows the truth and is silenced. In this they make it clear that he is being treated in a hospital. That was a bit of a disappointment, but the film seriously deserves a watch. Those eyes, they are haunting.
“It was their hands that built this city of ours, Father. But where do the hands belong in your scheme?
In their proper place, the depths.”
So back in July I did a post on trying to start a revolution and I mentioned this film. Now this film is not mainly a horror film but a mix of a Dystopian Drama, Sci-fi and Horror, a Dystfiror. This film also reminds me A LOT of Atlas Shrugged, so I chose this poster instead of the other one that has the robot on it. Robot, you may ask? But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
So this film takes place in a future far away . In this land the people have been split into two groups, the workers and the rulers. High above is the city Metropolis with its pleasure garden, as the wealthy lounge about doing nothing and anything they want. Below the city lies the workers, who are constantly going to support the city and all of the upper-dwellers’ desires.
Anyways, the ruler of Metropolis is Jon Frederson, who’s only compassion and love is aimed at his son, the rest of the world and people be d*****. His son Freder…Now I know what you’re thinking because I thought of it too. Really, Freder Frederson? Really now? That’s you’re name?
Why yes, yes I do think so.
Well I don’t care.
So anyways I’m like that’s really all you can come up with? With all the names there are that is the only one you can think of? Freder Frederson?
Spongebob would be disappointed in you.
When I watched it I renamed him Alan, as Alan Frederson was way better than Freder Frederson.
I like it!
Anyways, I digress so Freder is chillin’ in the pleasure garden (everytime I hear pleasure garden I think of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights), just enjoying being rich and worry-free.
They got lots of pleasures, alright.
Maria brings some children to see the Garden, and Freder sees her and falls for her, completely taken with her.
Maria, leader of the Rebellion
He then follows her down to the workers’ realm.
Freder journeys down into the machine rooms and sees it explode, injuring and killing the workers.
He runs to report to his father:
Sorry had to do it
Frederson is upset at having gotten the news from Freder instead of his foreman. (Everytime I read that sentence all I can thik of Señor Senior Sr and Señor Senior Jr. from Kim Possible). Sorry! I’m moving on, I swear! So the assistant Josaphat is fired for his failure. Jo knows that now that he no longer holds such a high position, he will be sent to the worker’s underground and forced to be in the factories, getting the same harm inflicted on him that he did to others. He decides to kill himself, but is stopped by Freder. Frederson is confused by the way his son is starting to act and sends his henchman the Thin Man.
On a side note, evil, businessman and father Frederson, has some secret plans in the mix. They were found on the dead factory workers’ bodies, which angered him extremely, as he doesn’t want it revealed yet.
Upon Freder’s return, he finds a worker and takes his place as the worker is too old and sick to continue. They trade clothes, in which the worker, Georgy, is supposed to come back later for them. However, Georgy enjoys his taste of the high life and spends the night at a club, forgetting all about Freder. (You might recognize pieces of this film as parts were used in Queen‘s Music Video for “Radio Ga Ga“.)
Freder on the other hand finds a map in his pocket and hears about a secret meeting. (There is also this weird scene where he hallucinates from exhaustion, but let’s skip it).
Meanwhile up above evil dad Frederson has discovered copies of the map and decides he will do something about this little insurrection. He goes to see his minion, Rotwang, in order to figure out what to do about it. [Check out the name Rotwang. It just screams evil!]
Rotwang is an inventor and he had been in love with Frederson’s wife, who died in childbirth. Rotwang has been unable to let go of her memory and created his own version of the perfect woman Maschinenmensch.
Its a pretty freaky scene, and totally creeps Frederson out.
Understandable, as it would freak me out too. It did. It still does.
Rotwang deciphers the map, and sees that it shows a system of catacombs that lie beneath Metropolis. They go down to investigate what’s going on.
Downstairs, there is a large gathering of the workers. Freder is there too, trying to find out what’s up. Maria is at the head of the group as she is the leader. She tries to rally the people to arms and to fight against their oppressors. She tells them that they must be patient until they can find a mediator between the two worlds.
Freder believes that he is the one to fill that role. He also realizes that he is in love with Maria and declares his love for her. She returns it.
The two make plans to meet up the next day, but unbeknowest to them they are being watched by Freder’s father and lackey. Freder’s father asks Rotwang to make the robot look like Maria so they can turn all the workers against her. Rotwang agrees, but has a secret agenda. He plans on killing Freder for causing the death of his mother.
Like what a jerk! He couldn’t do anything, he was just a baby. And Rotwang is a MAJOR creepo!!!
So Rotwang follows Maria and kidnaps her, hiding her away to complete his evil plan.
Georgy gets caught and sent back down to the worker’s area. They think that Freder’s friend Josaphat is involved, as that is where Georgy was supposed to spend the night, and Josaphat has to flee to the worker’s city. Freder goes to meet with Georgy, but can’t find him. He goes over to the Cathedral where the two were supposed to meet but can’t find Maria.He does overhear monks talking about the apocalypse, and the Whore of Babylon wrecking havoc through the world. He begs them not to harm Maria and goes searching for her.
Meanwhile Maria is trapped while the mad scientist Rotwang completes his robot’s likeness.
I’m sure you all knew I was going to make this connection.
Rotwang complete his robot and sends it off to Father Frederson. This version of Maria is wanton and lustful. Freder goes to see his father and finds the two in an embrace.
I mean seriously, what were you thinking?
Freder freaks out and drops into a delirious state of mind.
False Maria begins to unleash chaos throughout the land as she causes men to murder and fight each other.
Freder recovers and finds his friend Josaphat. Meanwhile, Maria manages to escape their grasp. Freder and Josaphat try to stop the false Maria from urging the workers to destroy the city, but everyone tries to attack him as they recognize him as Frederson’s son. He is luckily saved by Josaphat. Upstairs, Frederson wants the workers to fight, allowing him to use his army against them.
The workers are extremely riled up and rush to the machine rooms destroying the Heart Machine that powers the city.
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
The system’s below start to fail and the worker’s area began to flood. But the workers have forgotten one thing. They left their children behind!
Maria has managed to escape and runs downstairs to help save the children. [Side Note: Unemployment and inflation were so bad in Germany at the time that the producers had no trouble finding 500 malnourished children to film these flooding sequences.] Maria and Josaphat work together to get them out okay. In the machine room, Grot begins to yell at the workers. He reprimends them for letting their emotions get the best of them and killing their children. The parents freak out and march after the false Maria.
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
They take False Maria and burn her at the stake. Freder is heartbroken, thinking he lost her.
But then when she burns away, she is revealed to be the robot.
Rotwang chases the real Maria to the roof pursued by Freder. Fredersen and the workers watch from the ground. Rotwang falls to his death and Freder is able to unite the two. He [heart] ends by linking the hands of Fredersen (head) and Grot (hands) to bring them together.
This movie was actually supposed to be against facism and Hitler, but unfortunately Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels really liked this film. Fritz Lang, the director, was Jewish, but Hitler told him that in spite of his background they would make him a honorary Aryan. Lang left Germany immediately after that night.
I hope you all had a fun new years eve and safely enjoyed yourself. I went to two parties; both of which bored me :(, oh well there’s always next year. 🙂
Anyways, I thought it might be fun to do a year in review type thing as I start out with the great things that happened this year and what I hope to bring in the future! 😀
1) The Views
So according to WordPress I received 2000 views on my blog this year. Wow, that is more than I thought I would get and I would like to thank all of you for being a part of this. It really makes me feel as if I am doing something special to see that.
I just found out that I know have fourteen followers! That’s amazing! I want to thank each of you that chooses to come back and check out my blog. It really puts a smile on my face to know that my thoughts and views interest others.
Now that we have reviewed some stats lets move on to reviewing the highlights of the past posts!
The many handsome men who have played Mr. Darcy
4) Mr. Darcy
I also started the first of Mr. Darcy filled posts. There will be many, many more to come as there is just so much to say about him. My favorite Darcy filled posts were Darcy’s Dream Date and The Beauty of Darcy. I recommend reading both, but especially the second!
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts of this past year, I loved writing them. Here’s to a new year full of new surprises, ideas, and adventures. I wish you all the very best in the upcoming year; may it satisfy you all and me a memorable time. Happy New Year!
I think it will be one lucky year, no matter what the superstitious say!
Horrorfest has ended. 😦 I am actually very sad that it is over. I thought I’d be a bit relieved to have the pressure of posting everyday be over, but I actually kind of miss it. I toyed with the idea of doing a Thank-o-Rama: the 4 Thursdays of Thanksgiving and posting a fav TV episode or movie that revolves/has Thanksgiving in it (I had to include TV Shows as I can only think of three movies with Thanksgiving; Holiday Inn, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and Miracle on 34th Street.Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street don’t even really count since they are Christmas movies.) Then I thought of doing War Writings: 11 Days to Honor Armed Forces for Veteran’s Day,but I thought it would be far too soon to commit myself to another everyday project. I need to take a momentary breather.
I am considering doing something like The 12 Posts of Christmasand something like Lovetales: 14 Fun-filled Romances for Valentines Day. Also Viva Mexico: Cinco dias de los Chicanos for Cinco de Mayo. I’m still working on the actual titles for these. I thought about doing Pot o’ Gold: Seven Irish Tales for St. Patrick’s Day because I don’t think I can think of 17. The only films I could think of that I have seen that revolve around Irish people/Irish flavor are Rudy (Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish), Luck of the Irish, Gangs of New York, Far and Away, A Leprechaun’s Christmas (doesn’t really count as it is a Christmas movie), The Fighter, and Under the Waterfall. That’s exactly seven.
I noticed that a lot of posts I chose to do really depended on how much time I was able to devote a day to a post; along with what I was in the mood for to write about. Sometimes I started a post, but never finished it as I wasn’t in the right mood.
I’d like to know which were your faves are so vote, vote, vote! If you are unsure which to pick then why don’t you pop over and start at the beginning. Also I’d like to know what you wish I had posted on. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the page! 😀