Cat People (1942)


Fantasy | Horror


Jacques Tourneur




Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Elizabeth Russell, Alan Napier, Theresa Harris


Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), a beautiful Serbian artist, falls in love with American Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) and they get married. But complications arise because Irena believes she is the victim of an ancient Serbian curse that causes her to turn into a panther if a man tries to make love to her.


I have a problem with old movies, sometimes I find them incredibly boring. If it's a horror we are talking about, chances are they aren't even going to scare me. Thank god "Cat People" wasn't one of those. Although it isn't the scariest of the films I've seen in my short life, it sure is an interesting horror film with a terrific atmosphere.

There isn't much of a story and it's pretty much the tale of a jealous wife and a husband with a lady friend that features an old Serbian curse, but overall is well crafted and very well told, and engages the audience because of its horror side.

Actually, it isn't the supernatural element itself that frightens, scares the viewer but it's the outstanding direction by Jacques Tourneur. Through a quite beautiful black and white cinematography and a gloomy, haunting atmosphere of horror, he was able to deliver some pretty intense, suspenseful and memorable scenes.

As shown years later by many others among which Alfred Hitchcock stands out, less is more, and Tourneur proves that without showing the demonic panther, but building up tension and making sense the disturbing, upsetting presence of the animal.

Like any horror worth of respect, "Cat People" also features an effective musical score. But it doesn't have only the good things about the genre, but the awful ones as well. Like the tremendously wooden acting.

1 comment :

  1. What's great about this film is that he lets your mind do most of the thinking...and we always go to the darkest spot. I love this film