One of the most successful directors of the 1960s, when he became an efficient maker of epic-length pictures, Robert Wise is one of Hollywood’s few popularly recognized filmmakers. He joined RKO in the 1930s as a cutter and eventually became one of the studio’s top editors, working in this capacity on classics such as The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), Citizen Kane (1941), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). He became a director with help from producer Val Lewton, who assigned Wise to finish Curse of the Cat People (1944), a B-movie that had fallen behind schedule, and the resulting picture proved extremely haunting and enduring. Wise later directed The Body Snatcher (1945) for Lewton, but after the producer left RKO, he found himself locked into B-movies. His 1948 psychological Western Blood on The Moon, starring Robert Mitchum, and the acclaimed boxing drama The Set-Up (1949) were the only two important pictures that Wise got to do during his last four years at the studio. Wise… read more
A ghost story or a psychological look on the power of a child' imagination and loneliness? This "sequel" to the tension-filled Cat People isn't a horror film, but rather a fantasy of a child and a neighbor who both need love and understanding from their parents, but only one of them will saved.
Along with The Spirit of the Beehive; one the great films about childhood loneliness and the power of imagination to transcend the mundane. Unlike Tourneur's dark, suspenseful psychodrama, this pseudo-sequel is an expressionist melodrama with shades of poetic realism, where the suggestion of a ghostly encounter between little Amy and the first film's disturbed protagonist Irena becomes an attempt to forge a connection with an emotionally distant parent and an escape from the loveless pragmatism of the home.
The interpretation offered by Amlethus a few posts below is spot on. When viewed in this light, the film is one heck of an accomplishment. This is not a horror film in the same respect as the first, or even the rest of Lewton's filmography. It's an examination of childhood fantasy and the response from a father who went thru the events of the original Cat People.