The Cat Synopsis: So-yeon gets stuck with a Persian cat when its owner dies. From then on, she is haunted by a girl with green cat-like eyes.
Tagline: How many lives do you have?
Starring: Min-Young Park, Dong-wook Kim, Ye-ron Kim
Release Date: July 7th, 2011 | Runtime: 1 hr 46 min | Language: Korean (English Subtitled)
Source: Amazon Rental
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Cat Review
Note: The credits for this movie on IMDB are confusing as all can be. Neither the synopsis or the cast list make a lot of sense, so I referenced Wikipedia, which tells me that Min-Young Park play So-yeon, Dong-wook Kim plays Jun-seok, and Ye-Ron Kim as Hee-Jin (cat girl). That is the list I will be going from.
The South Koreans know how to do horror. The Cat is no exception to this. One of the things that I loved about The Cat was that even though there were jump scares, they weren’t dependent on loud noises. No claps, bangs, yells, etc. Instead, they gave you a lead in where you saw something a little creepy, and then BAM! Ghost cat-girl staring at you with those eyes. I thought that all the actors and actresses did a great job, especially Min-Young Park. While the cinematography isn’t stunning, I could find no fault in it.
Min-Young Park plays So-yeon, a young woman who works at a pet-grooming shop. She loves her job, and the animals she works with. Its obvious she has a good heart. When a client turns up dead shortly after adopting a cat, So-hee takes the cat in. It’s not long thereafter that the trouble starts. And, to top it it off, So-yeon is already dealing with a problem of her own. This problem is related to a sub-plot that was nice to mull over for a bit.
This movie creeped me out. Now, this is where I remind you all that I am a complete and total wuss, so it probably won’t phase you “hardcore” horror fans out there. But partway through The Cat, I was covering my eyes and peeking through the slits! However, as I’ve swiftly come to expect from foreign horror movies (barring Train to Busan, of course), there’s hardly any blood or gore in the film. A tense atmosphere, building dread, and freaking creepy kid ghost/demon/thingies, but nothing that will turn your stomach.
There are only two reasons The Cat didn’t get a 5 star rating from me. The first is that the climax is very strongly reminiscent of the ending of The Ring*.Enough so that only the absence of water from the scene really saved it. The second is that I had trouble viewing this as a horror movie after watching it the whole way through.It made it really hard to write this review because I’m used to a ‘you’re all going to die!’ ending. Not a rather sweet, hope-filled wrap-up. (Not griping about how it ended, mind you, just thrown off balance by it.)
Overall, The Cat was really well done and worth the price of rental. I would definitely recommend it to fans of Asian horror. While it’s nothing new or different, it’s a solid piece of a work. Even though the tone shifted towards the end, I still couldn’t look away from it. Whether you view it as a horror or not in the end, it’s a movie I can’t imagine you’ll regret watching.
*I haven’t seen Ringu, so I don’t know if the ending differs from The Ring. I would assume it’s the same, but Americans are weird.
Rental Link: Amazon
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
I am going to run this one by Miss Plumtartt and see if she is up for it.
We watched a Korean monster movie a while back; ‘The Host’. The title does not fit the movie. It is about a really big, but not giant, sea creature/monster that swims up-river to attack a community.
Been a while since I watched The Host! I think you guys would enjoy The Cat!
Considering I was just reviewing Hollywood’s three “Cat People” movies on my own blog last night, this is timely. I’ll have to look it up. (And to judge from your review, sounds like it would be closer to the 1942 Cat People in being atmospheric, the 1982 in production values.)
BTW, for some reason your typeface size shrinks part way through the post, in the sentence “The first is that the climax is very strongly reminiscent of the ending of The Ring*.” at the ‘e’ in the last ‘the’ in that sentence. Thereafter it continues in the smaller typeface for the rest of the paragraph before returning back to normal size in the next paragraph.
I just noticed that myself! (Typeface thing).
I will look at your review soon!
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