[obligatory apology for not writing in eight months]
[assertion that I will do better in the future]
[joke about how I absolutely won’t]
And then there’s The Cat and The Canary from NINETEEN TWENTY-SEVEN. THAT’S OVER NINETY GODDAMN YEARS AGO. Which means that the true horror of this film is that everyone in it is definitely dead.
The Cat and The Canary is about as classic a murder mystery as you can get. A group of strange characters gather at a spooky mansion for the reading of a will AND THEN MYSTERIOUS THINGS BEGIN TO HAPPEN but they do happen very quietly, because it is a silent film, because again, 1927. But don’t worry, they do have sweet piano music and subtitled dialogue that defo makes reference to both cats and canaries at least every seven minutes, in case you missed the title card. Because the boogeyman in this case is an escaped convict called The Cat, and, to quote the film, “he’s a maniac who thinks he’s a cat, and tears his victims like they were canaries!”
HOWEVER DID THEY CRAFT SUCH SUBTLE THROUGH-LINES.
But don’t worry, it’s not all cats and canaries (though it is absolutely like 40% cats and canaries), it’s also got wacky hijinks! Because guys, The Cat isn’t even real! It turns out The Cat is actually the nephew of the dead man going around with fur gloves with claws (not kidding) and grabbing people in the shadows to scare them off, because as you know, the inheritance always goes to the one can stick around at the will reading the longest without getting eaten by a monster. There’s trap doors and secret hallways and what 1920s murder mystery would be complete without an awkward nerdo hiding under the bed and accidentally seeing ladies getting undressed. Maybe I’m thinking more of Jeeves and Wooster than murder mysteries. Either way, that happens.
The Cat and the Canary is not a bad film at all. It’s become a classic of both German expressionism and mansion murder mysteries and deservedly so. While it’s pretty predictable now, this was one of the first and most successful attempts at spooky midnight will readings and creepy-looking servants, and it holds up decently well, unless you don’t enjoy hearing the title of the film repeatedly.
All in all, I give it……THREE HORRORS.
I do this thing out of five total horrors, yes?
I just realized I barely remember my grading system.
This is shameful.
I am as a canary on the internet, waiting for the hordes of wordpress cats to come tear my writings asunder.
Jesus I need to be less shitty at keeping up with this.