Continuing the trend of Asian horror films I’ve been binging on lately, our latest entry is The Cat, which is cute and scary because it involves kitties!
The Cat follows So-yeon, a young woman working at a pet store whose claustrophobia is so severe her apartment doesn’t even have doors inside it. One day after finishing a grooming session with a rich client’s cat, she starts to see apparitions of a little girl with cat-like eyes (sounds like my girlfriend in 10-15 years). That same day the client ends up dying mysteriously in the elevator, her cat seemingly unharmed. Asked by a friend of hers on the police force to watch over the cat until the investigation is over and the client’s husband decides he wants the cat back, So-yeon is sent on a terrifying journey to find out the origin of the cat she has as well as the little girl before the latter does her in too.
Now, this film is pretty paint-by-the-numbers in terms of story and characters: you see a lot of the normal clichés (the love interest, the friend who’s a bit shallow, the tragic backstory of the ghost, the almost too-good ending, etc.). However, the filmmakers do have a pretty good sense of building tension and keeping the story going without us becoming bored by the structured plot. Plus a lot of scenes with the cats are kind of scary to watch, especially when it involves a cat being mishandled, abused, killed, or dead.* And there’s a very powerful theme running throughout the film about helping those who are helpless, which is represented by a number of characters as well as cats, and it’s hard not to empathize with that.
Overall, I give The Cat a 3.5 out of 5. In a way, it’s similar to Jurassic World: not the best movie of its kind, but it does well on its own and it’ll do the job if you’re looking for that kind of movie.
You know I think I might take a break from all these Asian horror films soon. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I’m coming across pretty good ones. It’s just that I don’t want to watch them to the point where I’m absolutely sick of them. That nearly happened to me with Stephen King in high school: I read way too many of his books in a short period of time and had to take a break from him lest I stopped liking his work. Now King’s an occasional enjoyment, and perhaps these sort of films should be as well.
Though if anyone finds videos of the films A Tale of Two Sisters, Hanako, or even the French horror film Livide with English subtitles, let me know. I’m dying to see them.
*Don’t worry though, the filmmakers assures the audience at the end that no cats were harmed in the making of this film. As far as we know anyway.