Monday, 12 March 2012

5 Twisted Tales of Cat Terror

I was watching Puss n' Boots last week and I started thinking about all the great horror movies that have been associated with cats.  Either as a villain, a hero or something just to tie the story all together the cat is an excellent character to introduce into a tale.

Here are five of my favourite cat horror films:

5. Cat's Eye (1985) -This trilogy of terror is based on a book of short stories by Stephen King and is linked together with a stray cat looking for a troubled little girl.  The first tale is "Quitters", the cat is picked up by a eccentric doctor, who uses unorthodox and terrifying methods to help you quit smoking. In the second story,"The Ledge" the cat is picked up by mob boss and compulsive gambler Cressner.  He finds out the tennis pro (Robert Hays) has been sleeping with his wife and makes a bet with him.  If Hays can walk around the ledge of his high rise apartment, Cressner will divorce his wife and set them both free.  In the third tale, "The General" the cat finally arrives to help the little girl and (Drew Barrymore) battles a malevolent troll, who is drying to steal her breath.  This is one of my favourite childhood movies and is the epitome of 80's horror.  It has James Wood and Drew Barrymore at their acting best, the stories are by Stephen King and it's low budget enough that it had to use a cover version of The Police's "Every Breath You Take".

4. Cat People (1942) - Oliver Reed falls in love with Serbian girl, Irena Dubrovna, one day at the park.  She tells him about the Cat People, a group of heretics that were chased out of her village and killed many years ago by King John of Serbia.  She also tells him that she is cursed and cannot kiss him or she will go in a fury of violence and murder him.  Oliver doesn't seem to mind these obvious red flags and marries Irena.  Their marriage over the next few months is rocky; Irena goes to see a psychiatrist and Oliver seeks refuge with his lady friend Alice.  Irena becomes jealous and starts stalking a cat!  This classic horror at its best and producer Val Lewton's first film.  Director Jacques Tourneur uses shadow and lighting in such an effective way to create a sense of danger and violence that cannot be shown on the screen at that time.  It's a great story of madness, leaving the audience wondering is she crazy, really a cat person or both!

3. The Black Cat (1981) - Psychic Robert Miles controls a black cat to destroy his enemies.  A detective is brought in to investigate the murders and is helped out by an american tourist. Like most Fulci movies, the plot is secondary to the gore.  There are some excellent special effects scenes and is worth watching for that.

2. Pet Sematary (1989) - The Louis Creed and his family move into their new home and it's great except for one thing, the big rigs that come racing through on the one lane highway that is sitting in front of their house.  Unfortunately, after moving in the family cat, "Church" is struck by a truck.  However, the old man next door knows a way to bring it back to life... in the Pet Sematary!  The cat comes back but it's not the same cat.  It's a little more evil and when the same thing happens to their toddler, Louis thinks the Pet Sematary is right way to go.  This is another childhood favourite and another Stephen King film.  I still have a hard time with the scene when the child gets hit with the truck, but the story does need that to move forward.  Fred Gwynn is awesome as the old man neighbour and you can see Denise Crosby before she dawns her Star Trek uniform.  Also, the Ramones do the title track, which is probably one of the best track on their Brain Drain album.

1. The Cat (2011) - In this Korean film, a claustrophobic young woman, So-Yeon, works for a pet grooming store.  After, returning her clients cat, she notices a creepy little girl with a bob cut hanging around the client.  Her client dies later that day and she is given the cat to hold on to until the police can sort out the death.  With the cat in her possession, So-Yeon sees the creepy little girl more often and the people around her start dying.  So she sets out to find out the real story of the cat and the creepy girl.  This film is similar to the Grudge and Ju-On without being as graphic.  There are some really creepy points and can be appreciate for the low key horror.  It's also fun to watch a gang of cats attack somebody, if nothing else watch it for that.

So the next time you're cat is meowing at you for no good reason, think of these films because you may a troll stealing your breath.

1 comment:

  1. Also see The Corpse Grinders, you will never look at Tabby the same way