Cat People

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"They are something more than lovers who are about to become something less than human."
  • R
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 6.2  (23,671)
  • 61

Cat People from 1982 is a supernatural thriller about a young woman named Irena who discovers that she is a member of a race of people who can transform into panthers. Starring Nastassja Kinski as Irena, Malcolm McDowell as her brother Paul, and John Heard as her love interest Oliver, the film explores themes of identity, sexuality, and the primal nature of humanity.

The film begins with Irena arriving in New Orleans to reunite with her brother Paul, whom she has not seen since childhood. Paul lives in a grand mansion filled with exotic animals and works as a curator at a local zoo. Over time, it becomes clear that both Irena and Paul are members of the cat people, a race of people who can transform into panthers when they become sexually aroused or threatened.

As Irena struggles to come to terms with her identity, she meets a man named Oliver who works as a zookeeper at Paul's zoo. The two fall in love, but Irena's fear of her own transformation comes between them. Meanwhile, Paul becomes increasingly possessive of Irena, jealous of her relationship with Oliver and determined to keep her within the cat people community.

As the film progresses, Irena's transformation becomes more frequent and violent, leading to a final confrontation between the cat people and the humans who seek to destroy them. Throughout the film, the primal nature of humanity is explored, with the cat people representing a more primal, animalistic side of humanity while the humans represent a more civilized, civilized side.

Cat People is a visually stunning film, with director Paul Schrader making excellent use of New Orleans' iconic locations and cinematographer John Bailey creating a moody, atmospheric look. The film's score, composed by David Bowie and Giorgio Moroder, is also a standout, with Bowie's haunting vocals adding to the film's themes of isolation and identity.

The performances in Cat People are also noteworthy, with Kinski delivering a standout performance as Irena. Kinski's understated performance captures the character's struggle with her identity, and she is able to express complex emotions through subtle gestures and facial expressions. McDowell is also excellent in his role as Paul, delivering a menacing performance that makes it clear that he will do whatever it takes to keep Irena within the cat people community. Heard provides a solid performance as Oliver, providing a grounded, relatable presence within the film's heightened world.

Overall, Cat People is an engaging, visually stunning film that explores complex themes of identity, sexuality, and the primal nature of humanity. It's a film that delves into the darker, more primal aspects of the human experience, and it does so in a compelling and thought-provoking way. If you're a fan of the supernatural thriller genre or are interested in exploring some of the deeper aspects of human nature, Cat People is definitely worth checking out.

Cat People is a 1982 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 61.

Cat People
Where to Watch Cat People
Cat People is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Cat People for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (23,671)
  • Metascore