Cat People (1982) ***

Paul Schrader's Cat People (1982) is a scintillating, glorious, mythical mess, a hybrid horror arthouse avalanche. Horror tropes are plentiful (particularly some brief but tasty gore) and among other "flaws," there is some off-putting editing and pacing. There's also much to savor though, including strong, animalistic performances from Kinski and McDowell and some nice throwbacks to the 1942 Lewton/Tourneur original.

It's a difficult film to recommend to anyone who can't handle copious nudity or avant-garde storytelling without giggling or bursting into nervous laughter. For the adventurous viewer, it's a rewarding, if frustrating watch - a film with so much potential that loses steam here and there, but is very rewatchable (though the animal treatment makes me sad).


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