We haven’t done a Weekend Review of an older film for some time, so here’s one for 2020, a film that, after numerous delays, finally saw release last summer, but found its biggest audience on AmazonPrime. David Robert Mitchell got notice for his first feature, The Myth of the American Sleepover, and then he wrote and directed a brilliant and very successful horror film called It Follows. He was apparently given a free reign and significant budget for this project, which blends indie comedy, neo-Noir, conspiracy theory, and urban fantasy, with interesting, but decidedly mixed, results.1
A couple of new trailers just dropped, so here you go. Discuss among yourselves.
- Top Gun: Maverick
We’ve had quite the round-up of new trailers this weekend. Let me sum up:
- Black Widow
- Free Guy
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife
- No Time to Die
- Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman has been a bright spot in DC’s uneven foray into a shared superhero movie-verse….
…and her next film, set in 1984, looks like its Friday, June 5 release day won’t be a Blue Monday.
The original film never received a sequel but, thirty-seven years later, E.T. and Elliot are reuniting in a heart-warming effort to sell you stuff over the Holiday Season:
But it’s an impressive effort, regardless.
Happy (American) Thanksgiving!
Come, Cicily, let us go to our room, and pile the furniture in front of the door.
–from The Cat and the Canary: A Melodrama in Three Acts.
John Willard’s 1922 horror/melodrama/dark comedy has been adapted to film multiple times. The two 1930 versions, The Cat Creeps! and La Voluntad del muerto (A Spanish-language version filmed at night on the same sets, in the manner of the contemporaneous Dracula movies) have both been lost1, the 1960 TV version (an episode of the short-lived anthology series, The Dow Hour of Great Mysteries) is little-seen now, and I can find even less on the 1961 Swedish adaptation, Katten och kanariefågeln.
Our Halloween Day reviews (based on those votes cast) will address the three most famous adaptations, starting with the hugely influential 1927 version. Along with Lon Chaney’s famous films, this movie led to Universal’s domination of the horror genre during Hollywood’s Golden Age, and, incidentally, shaped comic-book history.
The second surviving adaptation of The Cat and the Canary casts Bob Hope and plays the story, already a horror/comedy, almost entirely for laughs.
–An asylum for the criminally insane. We’re just up the road.
–Oh. Well, that’s convenient.
Our third adaptation of The Cat and the Canary brings us to England in the 1930s. While it pushes some implications of the source material a little further than past versions, it aims squarely at being a dark comedy, with the emphasis on laughs. There’s not much else you can do with conventions and tropes the source mocked back in the 1920s.
A Beltane festival takes place at the summer solstice1, as American visitors get predictably much more involved in a pagan festival than they were expecting. This movie receives lots of glowing reviews, which this will not be. Did you enjoy The VVitch? Hereditary? Then this movie is for you! If not, a re-watch of The Wicker Man might please you More…