Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Classic Horror Films - Day 12 (CAT PEOPLE - 1942)
Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) is a young, Serbian artist living in New York City. When she meets American Oliver Reed (Kent Smith), she falls in love and gets married. But their union hits the rocks when she becomes consumed with the belief that she is the victim of a curse. According to Irena, the curse will make her turn into a deadly panther the minute she becomes emotionally aroused. In an effort to fix their problems, Oliver seeks psychiatric counseling for his beautiful and tormented young bride. But talking about her problems may only make them worse. The first of several interesting horror films by producer Val Lewton, who also did I Walked with a Zombie, The Leopard Man, and The Seventh Victim. The restraint and emphasis on psychological tension rather than physical violence would go on to influence later horror directors. Simon makes quite the impact as Irena and this film gets more across by being subtle than the 1982 remake with Natassja Kinski, which laid on the sex and gore very thick.