Happy Black Cat Day on October 27th.
Cats and Halloween go together in a way like candy canes and Christmas. It’s pretty much tied to the day. Celebrate the cat day with some cat-themed horror and thriller movies. These cats are either in the movie throughout the plot or a small important part of the story.
An animated neo-noir/crime mystery thriller told from the point of view of cats. A series of cats are being killed in the neighbour where two cats, Francis and Bluebeard, take it upon themselves to investigate. It goes into gory territory with torturous animal experimentation and mutilation. There is a nightmare sequence that can be terrifying but well animated. It was, at the time of production, the most expensive movie Germany has ever produced at 10 million marks due to it being animated in different countries besides Hamsburg, Germany like Ireland, Canada, the U.K., Denmark and South Korea. It’s based on a book by the same name written in 1989 by Akif Pirinçci.
Black Cat (1934)
This is a Bella Lugosi and Boris Karloff classic that was filmed before the file rating system was implemented on films. The story was originally based on Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Black Cat but the director changed the story because the poem was deemed unfilmable. The honeymooners listen to the doctor expel his life details being an ex-prisoner of war incarcerated for 15 years away from his wife. The strained honeymooners follow a mad doctor to an art deco mansion hosted by an Austrian architect. The architect is accused of being a traitor and stealing his wife when he was away. But the architect had different motives that include using women for satanic rituals. The honeymooners, especially the newlywed man, are just pawns in a game of wits and weirdos. This was one of the first psychological thrillers that created and popularized the genre. It’s most remembered as the movie that portrays Karloff being skinned alive by Lugosi through shadows on a wall.
Cat People (1942)
A film noir about a New York architect marrying a Serbian fashion designer who turns into a black panther when aroused or angry especially if she consummates the marriage. This is due to a curse that she is inflicted with throughout the film. It was remade in the 1980s with a similar storyline taking place in New Orleans starring John Heard, Malcolm McDowell and Nastassja Kinski with a David Bowie cover song in the end credits called “Putting Out Fire.” It’s remembered for its suspense building and storytelling. The cinematography uses shadows in lieu of a monster to great appeal and praise. The “Lewton Bus” comes from this movie in which a monster in a deep dark tunnel is following you only to be spooked by the bus that arrives just in time. One of the first moments in horror movie history that uses a jump scare has a clever effect.
Pet Sematary (1989)
A small family moves to a small town near an old Indigenous burial site that has the power to resurrect the dead. The father of the family first uses it to resurrect their black cat after it was run over by a tracker trailer truck near their unfenced house. Be he ever puts up adequate fencing he ends up using it again for his son for similar reasons. The movie is morbid, dark and has a very mature tone for the story it is telling.
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
In this anthology horror movie, as the second tale a mischievous black cat set out to terrorize and kill members of an extremely wealthy family. The millionaire hires a hit-man to kill the cat believing it’s evil. The millionaire believes that former occupants of the house were murdered by the cat because of his former pharmaceutical company killing 5000 cats testing drugs. This segment was directed by George A. Romero and was based on Stephen King’s short story The Cat From Hell. It’s a dark and weird story almost in the same vein like Tales From The Crypt and Creepshow.
Hocus Pocus (1994)
An immortal cat guards a black candle against being lit up for 300 years to prevent the resurrection of three evil witches, the Sanderson sisters. Until one Halloween, one teenager with a girl he’s interested in dating and his sister does so on Halloween night. With an aid of an immortal cat, they must stop the sisters to continue their plans to suck the lifeforce out of children to remain beautiful eternity. This is a Halloween classic that originally was released in July of 1994.
A re-telling of the 1921-22 series of H.P Lovecraft’s Herbert West – Reanimator. When Herbert West injects the glowing green serum called “reagent” into a black cat, it brings it back to life in a zombified state. It’s an awesome horror comedy movie about a medical student creating a serum that could make dead bodies come back to life.
In this stop motion animation, Coraline finds a portal in her new house that she moves into that can teleport her to a world with adults with buttons for eyes. She has a sidekick cat that is a little sassy, sarcastic and can travel in between. the world through the cracks in the house. The cat doesn’t speak words but reacts in a funny demeanour. The movie has horror movie elements but is an interesting film to watch especially for the villain.
A horror comedy about a haunted house, possessed appliances, a weird aunt and her evil cat. This film is strange and seemingly all over the place but it’s experimental and psychedelic. A teenager decides to spend time with her aunt in a remote place to avoid spending time with her father and his new girlfriend in the city. She brings her friends with names that completely describe their personalities. Mac (she likes food), Gorgeous (she’s pretty), Professor (she’s smart and going to university next fall), Melody (plays the piano), Kung Fu (she knows Kung Fu), Sweet (she has a sweet personality) and Fantasy (she’s imaginative and is seeing all the weird crap the witch is doing to her friends.) It is a fun movie and memorable has a film. The special effects were purposely made unrealistic and the script was purposely unpredictable.