Week Inspiration

The Cat and the Canary (1927)

A mystery trama inside a haunted house! "The Cat and the Canary" also presents a series of horror genre tropes and does not fail to provide plentiful moments of comic relief. The horror-comedy-mystery seems to not take itself too seriously on the "who's the murderer?" scenario and focus on experimenting with imagery. 

In the plot, the relatives of an eccentric millionaire are gathered one night in his ghostly mansion for the reading of his will. 

Evoking the idea of the decades-later "House on Haunted Hill" where William Castle locked together a group of people inside the so-called haunted mansion, "The Cat and the Canary" also builds a "carnival haunted house" experience to the viewer trapping all acquaintances of the dead rich owner together - checking many of the must haves in such a horror off the list: unsolved murder, a spooky governess, a lunatic on the loose from the sanatorium, the greedy characters willing to kill anyone for the fortune, oh, yes, and bodies falling from secret passages.

 

searches for new camera moves and angles, as well as moody lighting, motivated by practicals to create the suspense atmosphere.

The clip above displays this decision to place the camera in positions to enhance the notion all characters are being watched. Here, by the dead rich relative and his governess. To reinforce the idea the dead owner is still present in the house the camera is placed in the position of a portrait of himself hanging on the wall. As the painting falls to the ground the camera moves along downwards. So not only the camera takes the perspective of the whole group looking at the portrait, but also embodies the dead man's gaze over his estranged family, in an eerie reverse shot. 

A mystery trama inside a haunted house! "The Cat and the Canary" also presents a series of horror genre tropes and does not fail to provide plentiful moments of comic relief. The horror-comedy-mystery seems to not take itself too seriously on the "who's the murderer?" scenario and focus on experimenting with imagery. 

In the plot, the relatives of an eccentric millionaire are gathered one night in his ghostly mansion for the reading of his will. 

Evoking the idea of the decades-later "House on Haunted Hill" where William Castle locked together a group of people inside the so-called haunted mansion, "The Cat and the Canary" also builds a "carnival haunted house" experience to the viewer trapping all acquaintances of the dead rich owner together - checking many of the must haves in such a horror off the list: unsolved murder, a spooky governess, a lunatic on the loose from the sanatorium, the greedy characters willing to kill anyone for the fortune, oh, yes, and bodies falling from secret passages.

 

searches for new camera moves and angles, as well as moody lighting, motivated by practicals to create the suspense atmosphere.

The clip above displays this decision to place the camera in positions to enhance the notion all characters are being watched. Here, by the dead rich relative and his governess. To reinforce the idea the dead owner is still present in the house the camera is placed in the position of a portrait of himself hanging on the wall. As the painting falls to the ground the camera moves along downwards. So not only the camera takes the perspective of the whole group looking at the portrait, but also embodies the dead man's gaze over his estranged family, in an eerie reverse shot.