The Curse Of The Cat People

  • 1944
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Fantasy, Horror

Director Joe Dante, a Val Lewton fan, said of THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE that "Its disturbingly Disneyesque fairy tale qualities have perplexed horror fans for decades." Ostensibly a sequel to Lewton's successful CAT PEOPLE, it is, however, less the horror film that its typically lurid title implies than a look at a child's lonely fantasies. Carrying over...read more

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Director Joe Dante, a Val Lewton fan, said of THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE that "Its disturbingly Disneyesque fairy tale qualities have perplexed horror fans for decades." Ostensibly a sequel to Lewton's successful CAT PEOPLE, it is, however, less the horror film that its typically lurid

title implies than a look at a child's lonely fantasies. Carrying over the character of Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) from the previous film, the sequel finds him remarried and the father of Amy (Ann Carter), a lonely, introverted six-year-old who creates an imaginary world of her own. Oliver worries

that his dreamy daughter may somehow be influenced by the spirit of his first wife, Irena (Simone Simon), who believed she was descended from a race of cat people. When Amy finds an old picture of Irena, her imaginary friend suddenly has a face, and Irena becomes her confidante and playmate. At

the same time, Amy makes friends with Julia (Julia Dean), an elderly actress who lives in the spooky Victorian mansion next door. Julia enjoys having the child around and tells her fantastic tales, much to the dismay of her own adult daughter, Barbara (Elizabeth Russell), who feels Amy is stealing

her mother's love. In time both Oliver and the spiteful Barbara move to put an end to Amy's fantasy life. A beautiful and haunting film, THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE captures what critic James Agee called "the poetry and danger of childhood." Many of the incidents are derived from producer Lewton's

own childhood, adding a personal resonance to the film. RKO editor Robert Wise made his directorial debut here, taking over from Gunther V. Fritsch early on in the production. Although not as skillfully directed as the Jacques Tourneur-Lewton collaborations, this picture remains one of the most

ethereal looks at childhood the cinema has produced.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Director Joe Dante, a Val Lewton fan, said of THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE that "Its disturbingly Disneyesque fairy tale qualities have perplexed horror fans for decades." Ostensibly a sequel to Lewton's successful CAT PEOPLE, it is, however, less the horro… (more)

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