This weekend was a big silent movie marathon at my home - started with The Lost World, went into Phantom of the Opera, and ended with this one - Cat and the Canary. You know, sometimes silent movies look like - well, silent movies - and other times they can look like 30's talkies, but without the sound (if you know what I mean). In other words, the over-exuberance of the actors in early films has given way to a little subtlety, and the camera moves in a more progressive way. Thios Cat and the Canary is like that, for it's age (1927) it feels like a more modern film. We should all know this well-worn stroy by now as it's still in circulation. Old grumpy man knows he's dying, he knows his family and waiting to get his money. He lives in an old dark house. So he makes a will, to be read 20 years after his death - making them wait. When the 20 years have passed everyone returns to the house, and a single person is named a the receiver of the wealth - with the one proviso that, should anything happen to that person, an as yet unamed (the name is kept in an envelope) person will get the cash instead. Oh, and they all have to stay the night because a storm is kicking up........... The plot was a bit creaky even at the time this was made. But that's why we have classics - it's a story worth telling over and over. This is the film with the iconic image of a bug eyed man, huge fans coming up from his bottom lip, stalking the poor yung woman in dark rooms, and it's worth tuning in just for that. Along with that there are wonderful shots down corridors, with curtains bellowing (this shot has been done many times before, another early talking that does a good job with it - one you might have seen - is Old Dark House). But this movie is fun because, in all honestly, it's mostly played for laughs. In fact, this is one of the eaiest horror/comedies I own on DVD. To be frank, you won't find any scares here - it's all been done time and time again, there are no surprises. But we have a couple of quirky characters - from dopey nephews, to half mad aunts, to lunatic milk-wagon drivers. The Kino disc from R1 also has a bouncy little score (orchestral) to go along with it. The movie runs a short 80 minutes. All in all this is a nice little film if you're not in the mood for a strong horror flick. This is a comedy with horror elements, and it's well done. For fans of silent film, another must have.