The Cat and the Canary Blu-ray
Eureka Entertainment

Eureka Entertainment is one of the top distributors of early/silent films and has a vast catalog of titles from early Hollywood classics to modern action and horror. Much of their output has been in the UK, but they have now partnered with MVD to distribute titles in the States. One of their first releases is a film that, in a sense, set the precedence for the mixture of comedy and horror, the 1927 silent classic The Cat and the Canary, from director Paul Leni. Part of their Masters of Cinema series, Eureka goes all out to deliver the best possible version of the film for a whole new audience to discover.

Twenty years after millionaire Cyrus West passes away, his surviving family is invited to his estate by Roger Crosby (Tully Marshall), a lawyer who is there to read West’s will. The family learns he leaves everything to his niece Annabelle (Laura La Plante) on one condition: she proves to be legally sane.

The family is there to stay the night, but tensions quickly begin to rise when they hear about a murderer called The Cat, who has escaped a mental hospital and may be trolling the estate. Eventually, Crosby disappears, and their night takes a dark twist that leaves Annabelle questioning if she’s lost it or not.

The Cat and the Canary Blu-ray
Eureka Entertainment

The Cat and the Canary seamlessly blends horror with humor in a highly atmospheric film that most certainly inspired many to come after it. It’s a little tough to get into unless you’re in the mood for a silent treasure. It’s interesting to watch the style of acting as they emote without words. It feels a little more natural than most from the same era.

The 4K restoration is stunning, and it’s easy to see why Eureka has such a strong reputation. Certain scenes feel modern despite being nearly a hundred years old. Although the humor is dated, there are a couple of genuine creep-out moments I wasn’t expecting.

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The disc is packed with special features like a limited-edition O-Card slipcase with new artwork by Graham Humphreys, new commentary by author Stephen Jones and author/critic Kim Newman, another with Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby, a video essay, interviews with critics Pamela Hutchinson and Phuong Le, a Paul Leni ‘Lucky Strike’ endorsement, extracts from John Willard’s original play, a collector’s booklet, and more.

It’s a nice package for an influential film that’s a must-watch for fans interested in the history of horror films.

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