The Cat and the Canary (1978)
Article 5761 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Radley Metzger
Featuring Honor Blackman, Michael Callan, Edward Fox
What it is: A remade old dark house
When a family gathers for a reading of the will, a single heiress is chosen, but she must survive the night and not be insane; otherwise, the fortune will go to the next on the list…
If you’re going to make an old dark house movie in the late seventies, you might as well do a remake of one of the cornerstones of the genre rather than just offering a variant that borrows many of the original’s cliches. There are a number of well-known faces in the cast, and the acting is generally acceptable; some of them do their best to add some fun to the proceedings. It’s a little bloodier and nastier than some of the original versions, but with a PG rating, it’s not really too bloody. But when you come right down to it, this version is a bit slow, rather dreary, and ultimately it’s not much fun. The thing I liked best is the whimsical way it handles the final credits. But if I wanted to see this story again, I’d opt for one of the two earlier versions.