Review: Cat

Kat (which means, you guessed it, “cat” in Danish) is about mysterious events that happens to a cat that belongs to the roommate of a girl whose grandfather lives upstairs in an apartment complex.

First we are introduced to black magic-ish spiritual activities, carried out by – scary enough – retired old people, including the grandfather. The mysterious sounds coming from the apartment above is later connected to the cat’s development into a monster. It can’t be an all bad monster though, as it killed a meter maid! hehe

This Danish movie combines a psychological thriller with straight monster horror elements, in what is impressive – for a Scandinavian film. The quality of the gore and special effects is excellent, but one can see from the choreography and limited screen time of the CGI creature that it can not be measurerd against the best Hollywood has to offer. But that solved by camera angles, lightning and not having the creature visible more than a couple of seconds, so it’s not a problem.

Scandinavian horror movies are few and far between, so when they do appear, I am curious and often have low expectations. Cat delivers and then some, even with it’s shortcomings. Some of the scares are cheap and clichés, some of the characters are hollow and not explored enough (the policeman – why does he “care” (as he says) for Maria, is it because he actually cares or because he just want to investige the murders?) and the ending is a bit silly. For example, the boyfriend of Maria, the cat’s owner, is brutally killed in the climactic end fight because he cheated on Maria. It’s the old horror movie cliché that if you have sex you will be killed. He cheated on Maria, ergo he was a baddie, ergo he had to die – it’s so silly! I also don’t think there was a real need for a CGI monster, because continuing the thread the movie starts out with could have been interesting.

I have a little problem with the Danish language. It comes across as some kind of garbled Scandinavian. Sorry Danes, I just like Swedish better. I don’t hold this against the movie though, it just means that I can’t judge 100% how the acting is. It looks as decent acting, but nothing more than as good as expected. I am glad this weren’t a Norwegian movie, Norwegian actors can’t act at all.

This is a plain good horror movie with some excellent individual elements, and recommended if you want to avoid the spew of Hollywood teen slashers that many people have come to believe defines the horror genre.

Rated 7 of 10.

Director: Martin Schmidt
Denmark, 2001

Reviewed by Marie H.

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