Cat People
Cat People (1942)

Handed the exploitive title Cat People, RKO producer Val Lewton opted for a thinking man's thriller--a psychological mood piece, more reliant on suspense and suggestion than overt "scare stuff". Simone Simon plays an enigmatic… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 6, 1942
DVD Release Date: September 20, 2016
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
93%
Flixster
User Score
73%

Available Online



Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Influential noir director Jacques Tourneau infused this sexy, moody horror film with some sly commentary about the psychology and the taboos of desire.

Variety Staff
Variety

This is a weird drama of thrill-chill caliber.

Full review…
Tom Milne
Time Out

First in the wondrous series of B movies in which Val Lewton elaborated his principle of horrors imagined rather than seen, with a superbly judged performance from Simon.

Austin Trunick
Under the Radar

While Cat People isn't among the scariest films ever made, there are a trio of truly suspenseful scenes which, quite ingeniously, leave just enough up to the audience's imagination to dial up the tension.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Cat People wasn't frightening like a slasher movie, using shocks and gore, but frightening in an eerie, mysterious way that was hard to define; the screen harbored unseen threats.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Ladies who have such temptations -- in straight horror pictures, at least -- should exercise their digits a bit more freely than does Simone Simon in this film.

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Christopher Machell
CineVue

[Cat People's] masterstroke lies in a constant awareness of its audience, using their expectations of its B-movie horror title to draw out the film's tension.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

More a film about unreasoning fear than the supernatural, this work demonstrates what a filmmaker can accomplish when he substitutes taste and intelligence for special effects.

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Sean Axmaker
Stream on Demand

... a masterpiece of mood and psychological ambiguity masquerading as a cheap exploitation knock-off. Cheap it is, but Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur create mood not out of what is seen, but what isn't.

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Kate Muir
Times (UK)

I do like a film that opens with a mission statement, and... Cat People starts thus: "Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depressions in the world consciousness."

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More reviews for Cat People

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
Based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name, "The Black Cat" has a plot that many will not pay attention to. The real draw is having… More
Aj V
A great old horror movie with a story focusing around an ancient curse. I really liked it.
Red Lats
I've always wanted to see this because I enjoyed the 1982 version of the same movie. I liked the '82 version more. This movie creates the setting… More
Michael Gildea
Cat People's strength lies not in its simplistic story but in Jacques Tourneur's fantastic direction and beautiful, beautiful use of shadows. So many… More
Devon Bott
Oliver meets Irena at the zoo drawing pictures of the black panther, and the two strike up a quick friendship. Back at her place, she explains she comes from a… More
Tim Salmons
Fantastic film.