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1,970 Ratings

Cat People

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
United States, 1942
Horror, Mystery, Fantasy


The first horror film producer Val Lewton made for RKO Pictures redefined the genre by leaving its terrors to the audience’s imagination. A Serbian émigré in Manhattan believes that, because of an ancient curse, any physical intimacy with the man she loves will turn her into a feline predator.

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Cat People Directed by Jacques Tourneur
This little miracle is still taken for granted. This is a mistake. Its insouciant sexuality is still titanic. Its frankness is as scary as it is vital and engrossing. It’s the first American horror movie about ordinary people giving into temptation with complete awareness and agency.
October 26, 2016
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Lewton and Tourneur’s Cat People, now out on Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection, holds a place in film history as a landmark of the power of suggestion: the idea that you could make a good horror film on the cheap by simply not showing what everyone is supposed to be frightened of.
October 25, 2016
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Cat People, Lewton’s first and most famous title for RKO, as well as a collaboration with the elegant director Jacques Tourneur, weds avant-garde symbolism with a variation of the classic story of the were-creature. It begins with boy meeting girl.
September 23, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Cat People

    A unique film, iconographic in the liturgy of cinema. One of the few "horror" films I like because the horror is talked about and implied but the scariest thing shown is the shadow of a panther, or its growl offscreen. Likewise, there is a nude scene which is also not graphic, satisfying the censors while still being beautifully erotic. B- for the acting and points off for corny music, nonetheless must-see cinema.

  • LauraPalmer's rating of the film Cat People

    Rewatched and re-loved. One of my favorite films of all time. "Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depressions in the world consciousness."

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Cat People

    "But I love silence. I love loneliness. And they—they are in me. Their strength, warmth. They're soft, they're soft." A Jungian fever dream of life in the urban jungle. Pop psychology, sexual repression, and marital regrets stir in the film that kicked off Val Lewton's string of RKO greats. Might be the most effective use of light, shadow, and fog in the history of its genre. The Criterion Blu-ray looks incredible.

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Cat People

    Jacques Tourneur made a masterpiece that is highlighted by its great cinematography, specifically in its use of chiaroscuro. But all would be at the service of nothing if it weren't for the engaging character drama at the center of all the madness.

  • Ethan's rating of the film Cat People

    This is a brilliantly done and chilling look at forbidden sexuality and the stigmas we place on pleasures of the flesh, practically demonizing something so beautiful as the natural desire to engage another human being in genital embrace. Simon Simone is so damn cute in this movie and the look of this film is simply beautiful.

  • Eric Rucker's rating of the film Cat People

    Delicious fun. If only the Hays code hadn’t kept Alice and the Ollie from being ripped to shreds. We know they deserved it, though, and it was refreshing that the film did too. I would love to see #metoo justice served cold by a race of cat people like what was visited on the sexual predator “doctor.” Fuck all “King Johns,” religious monsters, Freudians, vaginaphobes everywhere, and fuck the corpse of Will H Hays.

  • FISCHER's rating of the film Cat People

    Chef-d'oeuvre du cinéma fantastique qui fait rimer poésie sauvage avec beauté formelle, fascination de l'inconnu et mythes légendaires. Approche intelligente et adroite des archétypes de l'inconscient collectif et de la peur, du désir/rejet de la féminité. Un grand moment de cinéma ! www.cinefiches.com

  • Renton47's rating of the film Cat People

    An elegant and moody tale of repression, accordingly it's rather restrained and I can imagine how excessive Schrader's version must be in comparison. Hardly a horror, it does boast two sublime set pieces with the walk and the pool though.

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