1944’s The Curse of the Cat People is notionally a sequel to the 1942 horror movie Cat People. And it does help to have seen the first movie, to fully appreciate this one, but they are quite different, although equally bonkers.
Cat People should really have been called Cat Person, given that the central character, Irena, is the only character who is afflicted by the issue of sometimes being a cat. And of having everyone think she is mad. Including the least ethical psychiatrist in the world, who very much gets his comeuppance, and the worst husband in the world, who very much doesn’t. Indeed even though he is quite clearly unfaithful to his troubled spouse, with his colleague, Alice, he seems to somehow walk away from the whole thing unscathed with his new love, while Irena meets a most unfortunate end.
In The Curse of the Cat People, the aforementioned husband, Oliver, and Alice are now happily married and have a child. Oliver appears to have added being the worst father in the world to his skillset, and his daughter, Amy, makes friends with the ghost of his dead first wife, who is no longer afflicted by sometimes being a cat, now that she is dead. Amy also makes friends with a mad old woman, who thinks her own daughter is dead, even though she isn’t dead and still lives with her.
It’s all pretty weird but quite a lot better than it sounds. Although it really has nothing to do with cats at all.
Score for Christmasishness
The second half of the movie is set at Christmas, complete with tree, snow and carol singers. And it’s pertinent to the narrative. I think. To be honest the plot didn’t make much sense, but, insofar as I understood it, Christmas did seem quite important. So it’s fairly Christmas(ish) if not exactly full of cheer. Plenty of dysfunctional families though, which seems quite appropriate at Christmas…