Cat People

Cat People ★★★★★

Still this pulsing night
A plague I call a heartbeat

An eerie, tragic masterpiece, and such an effective realisation of so many classic horror tropes: generational curses, religious paranoia, sexual repression, xenophobia, the black-clad vamp, the homicidally jealous spouse, the meddling shrink, spooky telephone call stalking, real life late night stalking on your walk home, even a big jump scare (supposedly invented here, though its oft-given name, the "Lewton Bus", doesn't give editor Mark Robson the credit he probably deserves, stumbling across it by accident in post-).

Most of all, like the best horror films, this builds its horror around the fear of the unknown within ourselves as much as the unknown in the world around us - following through with the pain and sadness of not understanding, and not being understood. Tourneur and Lewton were on some next level shit, clearly, and aided by a flawless screenplay from DeWitt Bodeen and the luminous, menacing cinematography of Nicholas Musuraca, they crafted something that feels wholly unique and pretty fucking major if you ask me.

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