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"Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

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"Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Old 09-22-19, 10:47 PM
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"Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge





Cat People (1942)



Selected by shellebelle


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IMDB ENTRY

ALYXSTARR LINK

ALYXSTARR LINK W/ COMMENTARY BY FILM HISTORIAN GREGORY MANK

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2019 DISCUSSION | 2019 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-20-19 at 03:37 PM.
Old 10-01-19, 08:06 AM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

If you're streaming this, I recommend watching it at Movies Anywhere. They have a much better print. Vudu's version has a lot of damage.

I'm not sure if it's the same as the Criterion restoration. But the MA version looks pretty good.
Old 10-01-19, 08:42 AM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

A near annual watch for me, fantastic film. The old Val Lawton DVD set is great, I often watch this with the supplements and the sequel, but this time I watched the newer Criterion Blu-ray.
Old 10-01-19, 12:06 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

First time viewing for me... I don't have much to say on this one. I liked it. It was a very charming movie and I enjoyed it.
Old 10-01-19, 07:25 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I just watched the sequel for the first time (Curse of the Cat People). Wow. Other than carrying over the same cast/characters, it has nothing to do with the original movie. I wouldn't even call it a horror movie.
Old 10-01-19, 11:19 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I'm a fan. Cat people is different enough despite it's age to feel exotic. I don't quite buy the love triangle with the husband's co-worker - they don't seem to have the same chemistry but maybe that makes the point that while Irene was too cautious about romance her husband too casual as polar extreme. It is odd that the lead so frequently finds herself at the zoo in night but the caged panther is a great image. The ending is a big odd that the husband is so deadpan when the morbid fact that his wife was turning into a panther is revealed. It's not clear to me why she collapsed/dies.

Edit: Thanks to TBDave below, appreciate that detail I must have missed.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-01-19 at 11:36 PM.
Old 10-01-19, 11:31 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
It's not clear to me why she collapsed/dies.
She was stabbed with the doctor's sword. When the panther knocks her down, the jacket falls off and you can see it sticking out of her back.

Old 10-02-19, 03:06 AM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Movies are MUCH different back then to now. 75% of the movie was just talking and maybe one or two very slight chills. Acting is pretty good, at least. I just don't get the approval rating it has gotten. Maybe because there was nothing like this back then or something? Felt to me more of a romantic Lifetime type film (better acting here, of course) than a horror film. It just seemed like Alice just wanted to get it on with Oliver for the first half of the film.I was expecting more.
Old 10-02-19, 06:57 AM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

A genre classic and one that has inspired a number of future directors like William Freidken. Cat People is a demonstration of gradual tension building.
Old 10-02-19, 09:55 AM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
She was stabbed with the doctor's sword. When the panther knocks her down, the jacket falls off and you can see it sticking out of her back.

Third viewing and first time I noticed this.
Old 10-02-19, 12:02 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by jacob_b
Movies are MUCH different back then to now. 75% of the movie was just talking and maybe one or two very slight chills. Acting is pretty good, at least. I just don't get the approval rating it has gotten. Maybe because there was nothing like this back then or something? Felt to me more of a romantic Lifetime type film (better acting here, of course) than a horror film. It just seemed like Alice just wanted to get it on with Oliver for the first half of the film.I was expecting more.
You make valid points. I appreciate the subtle building of character driven tension, the talky emphasis on evil with symbolism more than outright chills. It is a difficult balance because could be quite boring if the film didn't offer a bit more like with the woman claiming to be a sister or the psychiatrist going on about evil nature. I think films like Cat People use irony much more to build tension, stuff like that we know the assistant and the husband are involved and the wife does not yet. Movies are much different now but one could argue that we've gone too far to the other extreme of having visceral visual scares with too little character development.
Old 10-02-19, 12:46 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
You make valid points. I appreciate the subtle building of character driven tension, the talky emphasis on evil with symbolism more than outright chills. It is a difficult balance because could be quite boring if the film didn't offer a bit more like with the woman claiming to be a sister or the psychiatrist going on about evil nature. I think films like Cat People use irony much more to build tension, stuff like that we know the assistant and the husband are involved and the wife does not yet. Movies are much different now but one could argue that we've gone too far to the other extreme of having visceral visual scares with too little character development.
This.

I get the love for more visceral films too, horror and otherwise. Sometimes I want monsters and aliens and impossible situations. But a film like this I can more relate to the humanity in the characters and imagine myself in their predicaments.
Old 10-02-19, 01:15 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
You make valid points. I appreciate the subtle building of character driven tension, the talky emphasis on evil with symbolism more than outright chills. It is a difficult balance because could be quite boring if the film didn't offer a bit more like with the woman claiming to be a sister or the psychiatrist going on about evil nature. I think films like Cat People use irony much more to build tension, stuff like that we know the assistant and the husband are involved and the wife does not yet. Movies are much different now but one could argue that we've gone too far to the other extreme of having visceral visual scares with too little character development.
Yes, it is a very hard balance and today just loves jump scares. I'm a big fan of getting images stuck in your mind and psychology films. I think it's why I really enjoyed Midsommar. I just felt like it could have given us more. I think maybe I just got annoyed with the main actor. He knew his wife wasn't going to have sex or anything. She discussed this early on with him. Just seemed more focused on the assistant wanting to jump the main actor for a good period of time, which isn't good considering the movie is only a bit over an hour long.
Old 10-02-19, 01:40 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

They also mentioned and showed the broken cane handle. During Mank's commentary he mentions a lot of edits that were required by the censors, and I assume one was the cane fight where Irina gets stabbed (not seen and somewhat poorly implied).

My first introduction to this movie was Schrader's Cat People, and that one really traumatized me as a kid. The Criterion disk looks really good, and I need to dig out my Lewton DVD box. I've seen two TCM docs covering Lewton and discussing Cat People, and I believe on of those is on the Criterion disk. I listened to some of the commentary and Mank mentioned that those shadow scenes really got the audiences worked up.

I'm also annoyed by the whole love triangle. Alice waits to tell Oliver that she's in love with him after he's married. Oliver mentions that he loves all the people at work especially Alice. Come on people!

I have a cat, and mine would never go into a shoe box for the entire day without bleeding me and/or running off...

Last edited by WillieMLF; 10-02-19 at 01:58 PM.
Old 10-02-19, 06:38 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Kinda felt sorry for Irena. I mean she felt that if they got intimate after they were married she would transform into the cat faster. This "curse" drove a wedge into the relationship and Irena through her jealousy and bitterness had made her transform any way. So yeah in a way I felt sorry for her doomed life.
Old 10-02-19, 06:38 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

This one is handily my favorite of the Lewton films, and it's my second-favorite horror film of the '40s (with The Uninvited being the first).

I appreciate it because it feels modern, and it must have felt even more modern to contemporary audiences. A psychiatrist in a horror movie?! Get out!

I bet that the bus scare probably provoked a LOT of screams.
Old 10-03-19, 01:20 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I love this movie. Essential viewing every year. A really entertaining supernatural(?) thriller with enough subtext to float hours of vlogger Psychosexualty 101 analysis. Simone Simon

And if you don't have that Val Lewton DVD set, go out and get that Val Lewton DVD set. That Seventh Victim ending...
Old 10-03-19, 03:00 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

It's hard to believe more of the Val Lewton films have not been made available in high definition or even 4k - what's that about?
Old 10-22-19, 06:31 PM
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Re: "Cat People" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
I just watched the sequel for the first time (Curse of the Cat People). Wow. Other than carrying over the same cast/characters, it has nothing to do with the original movie. I wouldn't even call it a horror movie.
Same for me. I did like the first one. It was a little slow, but it kept for engrossed in it. The "sequel" however, had me yawning the whole way through. I kept waiting for something to happen (Irene passes the curse onto Amy as some sort of revenge on Ollie and Alice?). And what's with "The Cat Woman" from the first movie playing Barbara Farren in this one. I thought SHE may pass on the cat curse or something as revenge on her mother or because she hated Amy... I don't know. I realize that this thread is for Cat People and here I am bitching about it's "sequel" instead. Sorry.

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