The Curse of the Cat People

Critics Consensus

Foregoing the horror thrills of its predecessor in favor of childhood fantasy, Curse of the Cat People is a touching and psychologically complex family film couched in a ghost story.



Total Count: 29


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,505
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Movie Info

Officially a sequel to Val Lewton's psychological-horror classic Cat People (1942), Curse of the Cat People is in fact an engrossing and oftimes charming fantasy, told from a child's point of view. Six-year-old Ann Carter plays Amy Reed, the lonely daughter of eternally preoccupied Oliver Reed (Kent Smith). Amy's vivid imagination and inability to get along with her schoolmates leads Oliver to worry that the girl will start exhibiting the psychopathic tendencies of his long-deceased first wife Irena (Simone Simon), the obsessive "Cat Woman" in the earlier film. Oliver's second wife Alice (Jane Randolph) and Amy's sympathetic schoolteacher (Eve March) try to help, but Amy prefers the company of elderly Julia Farren (Julia Dean), a harmlessly crazy ex-actress who lives in a forbidding mansion with her neurotic daughter Barbara (Elizabeth Russell). Insanely jealous of Amy, Barbara ultimately tries to do the girl harm, but she is thwarted in this effort by the ghost of Irena, Amy's self-appointed guardian angel. Advertised as a horror picture, Curse of the Cat People has only one genuine "shock" scene; otherwise, the most frightening moment in the film is Julia Farren's spirited rendition of "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." Saddled with a lurid title, producer Lewton and screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen chose to offer a fascinating glimpse into the wonderfully boundless realm of a child's imagination, and in this respect the film is an unqualified success. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Ann Carter
as Amy Reed
Simone Simon
as Irena Reed
Kent Smith
as Oliver Reed
Jane Randolph
as Alice Reed
Elizabeth Russell
as Barbara Farren
Eve March
as Miss Callahan
Julia Dean
as Julia Farren
Erford Gage
as State Trooper Captain
Gloria Donovan
as Little Girl
Sarah Selby
as Miss Plumett
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Critic Reviews for The Curse of the Cat People

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4)

Audience Reviews for The Curse of the Cat People

  • Oct 13, 2011
    What a terribly misleading title. "The Curse of the Cat People" is no horror film, and it's barely even spooky. Add more visual atmosphere and this fantasy would verge on Jean Cocteau turf. It's also not much of a sequel to 1942's "Cat People," beyond its recasting of Simone Simon and Kent Smith. A lonely little girl (Ann Carter, merely adequate) starts seeing her father's dead wife (Simon) and embraces her as a friend. She also befriends an elderly woman who lives with her daughter in one of those typical spooky homes that everyone avoids out of unfounded fear. Her concerned father (Smith) and his new wife frown upon these indulgences. Neither storyline resolves in a satisfying way, and it's not even certain exactly what has happened.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A bad sequel, it doesn't have anything to do with the first one really, and it's silly. I don't recommend this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2010
    (Review coming soon)
    Edward B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2008
    Superior sequel to "Cat People" explores the fantasy life of a lonely little girl, whose imaginary friend takes on an alarming figure of the past. A rare "horror" film that eschews the possibly supernatural origins of its predecessor and focuses directly on its psychological impact. Brilliantly executed and hauntingly realized.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer

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