The recent death of star Ann Carter (2014) might bring a little attention to this beautiful evocation of childhood, saddled with a lurid title that connects it to the original Cat People.
From the same producers, Val Lewton, Robert Wise’s film is a ghost story of a kind, but not one that evokes any kind of horror. Instead, the mood is poetic and lyrical; Oliver Reed (Kent Taylor) has difficulties in parenting, as his daughter Amy (Carter) has an unusual imaginary friend, Irina (Simone Simon reprising her role from the original film).
Irena’s appearance is a benevolent one, but threatens to leave the child locked into a fantasy world, and Wise captures the child’s sense of wonder in an enchanting way. The Curse of the Cat People has a cult reputation, and no wonder; it’s 70 minute running time is packed with sensitive storytelling and a melancholy feel of lost innocence.