The Curse of the Cat People
 
         
   
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
Running Time: 70 min.
Release Date: March 2nd, 1944
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise
Actors: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter, Julia Dean
 
         
"Continues with the same actors, yet accommodates a different style of thrills."
   
 
             
 
Theatrical
3/10
 
DVD
N/A
 
Blu-ray
N/A
 
             
 
 
The number of cast members has increased, somehow Simone Simon is back along with most of the original cast, and the screenplay is again by DeWitt Bodeen, but this time the film is co-directed by Robert Wise. It doesn’t help. The Curse of the Cat People is slower, less exciting, and barely a horror film. Although it’s admired for the unique viewpoint of the child lead character, it’s not much of a continuation for the moderately impressive original.

The Reed family has moved to Sleepy Hollow, gotten a Jamaican servant and no longer work for a ship construction company. Alice (Jane Randolph) and Oliver’s (Kent Smith) bewildered child Amy (Ann Carter) doesn’t have any friends – a birthday party with no guests introduces her weirdness. She daydreams nonstop, confused about wishes, fantasies and reality. When the other children won’t play with her, and her father insists she lead a normal childhood, she begins visiting a creepy, crazy old Broadway lady (Julia Dean) in a rumored haunted house (who believes her daughter Barbara, played by Elizabeth Russell, is dead, even though she currently takes care of her), and is visited by the ghost of Irena (Simone Simon, getting top billing despite first appearing over 30 minutes into the film). Oliver insists it’s a childish fancy, but his previous marriage to the murderous Irena still torments him. His present wife Alice (Jane Randolph) insists that Amy is dreaming up friends out of loneliness and wishes for her husband to be there for the distraught child.

 
 
 
The Curse of the Cat People
 
The Curse of the Cat People
 
 
Only a little over a year after Cat People, this sequel that follows everything set up by the original abandons all that was effective. It’s based around a child, showing a different perspective, which should have been scarier because we have to witness everything through the little girl. This diverting isn’t nearly as interesting, however, and the ghost of Irena isn’t ominous in any way. The Curse of the Cat People isn’t a horror film centered on the cat people, but rather a ghost story about the curse – also oddly mixed with the legend of Sleepy Hollow. In fact, there aren’t even any cat people in the film.

The 2nd installment in the Cat People franchise continues with the same actors, yet accommodates a different style of thrills due to the addition of even further supernatural elements, a curious child with otherworldly visions, and a mysterious old woman who fancies eerie stories. Sadly these are offset with a slower pace, less menacing atmosphere, and virtually no villain. It’s disappointingly inferior but largely expected.

- Mike Massie

 

Click HERE to read the review of Cat People (1942)


 
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