20 of the Best Cats in Horror
If there was just one thing that the internet has taught us, it would be that People love cats. I mean people REALLY love cats. Not a day goes by when we are not inundated with cat pictures, stories or memes. It’s easy to see why film makers would want to use them in film. However, cat’s aren’t exactly the most scariest thing that roams on this planet. The worst you’ll ever get from angry pussy is a bite or paw swipe, but it’s great to see how creative thinkers manager to change an innocent moggy into something terrifying and deadly. We have selected 20 clawsome films for your purrusal! A little slice of cinema history. You may recognise some of the films on this list, but other s may not be so Furmiliar! Paws for thought horror fans , here’s 20 Horror Cats you may not want to pet! (spoilers!)
The Panther -The Cat People (1942)
A young woman, Irena, believes herself to be a descendant of a race of people who turn into cats when sexually aroused. Wow, what a premise, and back in the 40’s too! Irena mostly stalks the cast from the darkness of the shadows throughout the majority of this black and white thriller, but it’s only at it’s climax that she reveals herself in all her panther glory. This is one puss that cant be calmed by a bowl of cream. Despite it’s lack of visual effect or cheap scares, it does have a lot of atmosphere, and this classic 1942 horror still has bite, enough to chill even the hardened horror fan!
Tabitha – The Shadow of the Cat (1961)
After witnessing the murder of her owner, Tabitha the cat becomes bent on revenge. Turning placid Puss into killer kitty, our feline vigilante hunts the three criminals responsible for her owners death. Despite it’s lack of atmosphere or any real build up of tension , this early Hammer does manages to be intriguing. It does not pack the punch you’d expect from a hammer film at this time, but it’s a worthy addition to their catalogue, proving that cats can are not to be trifled with!
Ligeia – The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)
Verden Fell’s dead wife may have returned from beyond the grave. And it looks like the mysterious cat that haunts him, may actually be his dead wife incarnate? Either way, the cat is not that keen on his latest squeeze. Starring Vincent Price, this creepy and atmospheric tale, which take place, for the most part in a large, creepy, Gothic mansion (classic horror locale). Whilst it is slowly paced, the dramatic end is well worth the wait, seeing our kitty battling man and fire. It’s dark, foreboding and eerie!
The Black Cat -The Black Cat (1966)
Whilst some people may prefer the original 1933 Bellalogoasi film, Our pick is the more atmospheric 1966 version. Loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe‘s short story. After torturing and killing our titular feline, a mentally unstable Lou thinks that the cat has returned from the grave to kill him. Our black kitty haunting presence is ever felt throughout the film leading towards a twist end. Black cat manages to be tense and thrilling, with added garage-rock for kicks! But if you have seen on of these adaptations, you’ve seen them all.
Angry Cats – Eye Of The Cat (1969)
It had to be cats! Wylie, has a severe case of ailurophobia, that’s an irrational fear of all cats, and it just so happens that he has to deal with a whole host of them, in order to rob the mansion of his eccentric but wealthy aunt! Never the smartest thing to do do really! Eye of the cats is slow, stilted and with little tension, but it’s fun and the cats look genuinely angry through out the film, adding a real sense of a threat. All though, we are still wondering why the Wylie and, his co robber, Kassia are standing in one place, rather then high tailing it out of there?
Hungry Cats – The Corpse Grinders (1971)
The Lotus Cat Food Company is sneaking corpses into food, and our lovable fluffballs are getting a real taste for human flesh. Tuna just won’t quench the hunger! The Corpse Grinder has probably one of the better story lines from the films on this list, but falls flat with cheap looking sets, terrible campy lines and cat attacks that are just laughable. However it is very gory with plenty of flesh on show! A remake might be in order?
More Hugry Acts – Night Of A 1000 Cats (1972)
Millionaire, Hugo is chopping up women and feeding them to his hoard of cats. That’s basically the story! This strange far fetched film is a little light on dialogue, as half the footage is of hugo playing peeping-tom in his whirlybird, looking out for his next victim. Silly Hugo never did learn that a cat in the hand is worth 1000 hungry fuzzballs gnawing at your knees, when one of his victims escapes, leaving him wounded and prey for his little furry friends. The film is slow, badly shot and in desperate need of a script (any one will do)!
Possessed Cat -The Legend of Hell House (1973)
A scientist leads a group into the notorious Belasco House. This atmospheric haunted house thriller is filled with cheap scares. In one the films more memorable and ridiculous scenes, a possessed cat attacks one of the scientists. Using POV camera work, and a stuffed toy, this battle between man and beast is hilariously misplaced. The films effects are pretty impressive for a film from the early 70’s and this cat scene is one of the cheaper moments. The poor kitty survives the tussle , only to turn up dead later on. However, the moment lives on as it was spoofed in Scary Movie 2.
Evil Cats – The Uncanny (1977)
Is a anthology telling three tales about the evilness of cats. A wealthy woman rewrites her will leaving her fortune to her cats, an orphan is forced to abandon her precious pet and A puss seeks revenge when an Actor kills his wife.It’s hard to shake the real underlying message in these tales, whilst we are told the CATS are evil, the real evil lies within humanity itself. It has a great cast including Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence, but it’s a little light on scares.
Jonesy – Alien (1979)
This little Space Mouser knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the hunt. Based on board a commercial space ship, the crew desperately fight for survival as they are hunted by an alien. The film is dark, claustrophobic and damned right scary! However the film herald the debut performance of the the most prominent actor in the cast, Jonesy the cat. Our little ball of fur, has a little touch of Cat luck, managing to stay one step ahead of the stalking creature throughout the film. Even a face to face confrontation turns out with Jonesy on top, as the alien turns down a perfectly good, cat in a box meal, for something taller and half naked! Jonesy is luck enough to survive not only the Killer Alien, but also a 57 year hypersleep.
The General – Cat’s Eye (1985)
Cat’s eye is an anthology horror film based on three short Stephen king stories. The stories are all linked by a tom tabby cat that appears in each of the stories. He plays an incidental role in the first two and is a major character of the third, where he is named as the General. Whilst the three stories don’t really connect and the plot of the cat connecting them is tenuous at best, the are all good on the own merrits. The third film is the only cat driven story, with the General faces off against a malevolent troll!
Rufus The Zombie Cat – Re-Animator (1985)
Re-Animator is a modern retelling of Frankenstein, where Herbert West discovers how to bring the dead to life. Herbert shows off his new found serum by reanimating his friends dead cat Rufus, with horrific results. Rufus doesn’t last very long on screen but his brief appearance is enough to chill even an Eskimos heart!
Church – Pet Sematary (1989)
Based on the book by Stephen King, Pet Sematary is about a family who discover the Pet Sematary and what lies beyond its boundaries. After the death of the family cat, church, a friendly neighbour helps Louis Creed bury the dead cat in an old Indian burial ground, only for church to return home, alive, the very next day! Pet Sematary is a dark and tragic film that’s well paced and full of shocks. Poor, smelly, Zombie Church is a little mean after returning from the dead, but he still manages to pull on our heart strings when he goes down for a second time. Play dead church..be dead!
Cat from Hell – Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
Another anthology, however this time with just one cat based story. Yet again, based on a short Stephen king story, Cat from Hell is about a Hit man hired to kill a black cat. Elderly wheelchair bound man Drogan belives that the cat has killed several other residents and that he is it’s next target. This dark tale is filled with suspense, plenty of gore and a real shock at it’s climax.
Cute Killers – Strays (1991)
Never has a bunch of cats looked more adorable then in strays, the Made for tv movie. However, I’m sure that the filmmakers were looking for a more different reaction, going by the serious cast and the moody atmosphere weaved on screen. Yet our kittie friends are more Awww than ARGHHH. The film sees a family terrorised by a bunch of strays when they move into a new home. The angry kitties seem to be more a result of a dousing than actually being mean. the close ups of the poor little critters shows that they have just been dunked in water, no wonder they look so unhappy.
Clovis – Sleepwalkers (1992)
Based on an original screenplay by Stephen King, Sleepwalkers tells the tale of two energy vampires who feed off the lifeforce of virgin women. With the ability to shapeshift, these “sleepwalkers” have only one weakness, Cats, who are able to see Them for what they really are. Cats claws are also capable of inflicting wounds, making the them deadly too the two, nomadic, sleepwalkers. A large pack of cars start to ominously gather outside the sleepwalkers residence, and eventually led on a Attack by Clovis, the local deputy ‘s moggy!
Sleepwalkers was a commercial flop. It was slow and did not have any real soul, however elements of the sleepwalkers characters reappeared in King’s recent book Dr Sleep , a sequel to the shining.
The Black Cat -Two Evil eyes (1990)
Directors Dario Argento and George Romero adapt two of Edgar Allan Poe’s work of fiction, and whitest one of those stories is another version of the “The Black Cat.”, this narrative has been altered and changed dramatically.
In this version, things become a lot more disturbing. Rod Usher kills his girlfriend and walls her up, but a nasty twist really puts him in a difficult position. Well paced and with a great script and cast, this dark tale is very graphic and chilling
Sculley – Willard (2003)
Willard is remake of a 1971 horror, about a meek young man, who’s strange relationship with the Rats, result in a series of horrifying events. Played by odd ball actor, Crispin Glover, Willard received a gift of a Cat called Skulley, in order to help him rid his family home of the infestation. However, the rats are clever and organised and a continuation with the Rats ends barley for our brave little puss!
Protective Cats – Let The Right One In (2008)
Let the right one in is a beautiful, but brutal, horror film. It’s tense foreboding atmosphere and it’s graphic violence are offset by the peaceful serene snow filled scenes and more delicate moment between the two main characters. However it’s the Cat Attack scene that seems to stand out, being slightly out of place and almost comical. After been bitten by a vampire, poor Virginia finds that she has become painfully sensitive to sunlight and has a thirst for blood. When she visits her friend, his cats go crazy and attack her. sending her tumbling down the stairs in the death grip of a crazed kitty. The moment cuts off pretty quickly, but it’s enough for us to get the point. Cats don’t like vampires!
Mr Whiskers – The Voices (2014)
Jerry is an upbeat guy with a few skeletons in his closet, and a few heads in his fridge! Poor Jerry hears voices that tell him to do dark things. He projects these voices on his dog Bosco and cat Mr Whiskers. Whilst Bosco is his voice of reason Mr Whiskers is his darker side, urging him to kill. This dark comedy is gory and fun.
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