The Haunted House (1921)

DailyView: Day 181, Movie 263

The Charlie Chaplin silent short films have been a godsend during the DailyView. On those days where time is short or the day is packed with other activities, they have allowed me to successfully continue the DailyView. However, my options of Chaplin on HBO Max was coming to an end as I have exhausted the films. So yesterday, I went searching YouTube to see if I could find some more to use on days such as today. I was able to find several more Chaplin films, which was great, but I also came across a few from fellow silent film master, Buster Keaton. One of those was entitled The Haunted House, which seemed to fir in the October DailyView well.

Technically though, it felt more like a Scooby Doo mystery than any scary film. A group of counterfeiters tried to rob the bank where Keaton was a teller. They tried to pretend like the house was haunted to keep people away. Keaton encountered many of the “ghosts” of the house only to find out that the bank manager was involved in the plan. The bank manager hit Keaton on the head, knocking him out and giving him a dream where he went to Heaven and was then sent to Hell.

The story was short, of course, but it felt unresolved. After the dream, Keaton awoke and nothing else had been ended. I guess the bank manager and the robbers got away with their plan and Keaton just got the girl.

There was an extended scene with Keaton at the bank giving out money where he accidentally got glue all over the money. Everyone had trouble with the money sticking to their hands and sticking to other things. While the idea was funny, it lasted too long and became a bit monotonous.

I am very appreciative of these short films, but this one was not one of the better ones. I am excited to see more of Buster Keaton’s work as the DailyView continues, but I hope they are more original or have better comedic beats than The Haunted House.

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