092 - Cat People (1942)

Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) is a Serbian immigrant living in the United States. Initially secluded she finds enjoyment in painting the local zoo's panthers. While sketching her latest work she meets Oliver Reed (Kent Smith), a ship engineer and they marry shortly after.

Oliver learns there is more to Irena than meets the eye as she believes that when she is in passion's grip she will transform into a panther herself, much like the curse from her homeland. Oliver sends Irena to be cured from her fears by psychiatrist Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway) as their marriage begins to suffer as a consequence.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Before the aid of computer technology many visions from film directors were dashed knowing that they weren't able to add in everything that they wanted because they were 50 years too soon. Jacques Tourneur is one man who suffered just as any other as his film, Cat People, contained scenes that involved a woman being transformed from one form into another.

Cat People could have easily been one of those films that involved amateurish camera tricks but Tourneur was able to resist this temptation and created a film that becomes more of a psychological thriller than a film of pure horror. There are no scenes of blood, but a few scenes of death with Tourneur happy to let his audience use their imagination with some truly genius uses of sound and shadow.

A surprisingly enjoyable film.