19 January 2016

THE CAT. 2011. A KOREAN HORROR FILM. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.


THE CAT. 2011. A KOREAN HORROR FILM BY MATCHBOX FILMS. DIRECTED BY BYUN SEUNGWOOK. STARRING PARK MINYOUNG, KIM DONGUK, KIM YERON AND SHIN DAEUN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is an interesting one. Different too, mainly because of the high levels of pussy to be found in it. Okay, so that's just my dirty mind messing with you guys, haha. There's no pussy in it whatsoever in the accepted sense, but there's a s**t-load of cats in it. 

Furry, purry kitty-kats who miaow and yowl and yelp and scratch and are so adorable you just want to scoop them up and cuddle the bejeesus out of them, even the ones that are quite obviously evil. Well, they're not exactly evil, per se, but there's definitely summat up with dem purdy kitties and the purpose of this film is to figure out just what in the Sam Hill that something is.

So-yeon, a pretty Korean girl, is our heroine. She works as an animal groomer. She gets to put make-up on cats (I shit you not!) until they look like, well, whores. But, hey, if that's what the cats' rich owners want, then that's what the cats' rich owners get. Personally, I don't approve. Pets are fine as they are, surely, without all this tarting-up nonsense? Some people have more money than sense.

Anyway, the unexplained death of one of the rich cat owners' leaves So-yeon the temporary minder of the main pussycat in the film. It's called Silky, which kind of makes it sound like a hair conditioner you might buy from the Pound Shop. I don't know whether it's a 'he' or a 'she,' either. It's definitely one or the other. So-Yeon takes it home and looks after it, but strange things start to happen at her flat pretty much straightaway. Coincidence? I think not...

She starts seeing what looks suspiciously like the ghost of a bob-haired little girl around the place. Under the bed, for example, and in other places where you wouldn't expect a bob-haired little ghost girl with glowing, cat-like eyes to be hanging out.

What's even weirder, So-yeon's bezzie mate Bo-Hee decides she needs some pussy in her life too. Sorry, I couldn't resist that. She adopts a kitty-kat from the local animal shelter. Not long after, however, she's as dead as a doorknob and there seems to be no apparent explanation for her death. What the diddly's going on with all these cats and their owners?

Where have these particular kitty-cats all come from? Is that important? So-yeon thinks it is. She enlists the help of a baby-faced young policeman she fancies, who also happens to be Bo-Hee's ex-squeeze, to try to find out the origins of all that pussy. Sorry again. I'm very, very sorry.

So-Yeon's investigations take her to some dark places, which is bad news for her because she's suffered from severe claustrophobia since she was six years old. She also has a terrible fear of fire, for some reason. We never really find out her own back-story. How will she cope with the tiny elevators and spooky furnaces her inquiries ironically throw up? With some difficulty, I'm guessing.

And who is the old woman known as 'Granny' whom So-Yeon keeps bumping into on her travels? Is her presence in the movie significant? And who is Hee-Jin, the granddaughter she keeps fruitlessly looking for? I can see some of you mentally connecting the dots here. Stop it, now. You know who you are. Wait till you've actually seen the film before you start jumping to conclusions, you naughty people, you.

The scares in the film are actually quite effective. Yes, I've probably seen enough Japanese and Korean horror films by now to be able to work out where they're coming from but they're nonetheless good fun for all that. One or two of them are even very well done and the ending will certainly tug on your heartstrings.

I give this film four thumbs-up out of five. This is my first time using the thumbs-up system so I'm not sure how effective it is. Perhaps, given the nature of the film, I should have used the 'paws-up' system. Four adorable paws-up out of five. On no, the kitties from the movie are looking at me miserably and making me feel guilty. I'd better change that to five paws-up. Five adorable, cuddly paws-up out of five. And I'll open a couple of jars of Whiskas too, just in case.

       AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers' Centre, The International Bar, Toners' Pub (Ireland's Most Literary Pub), the Ha'penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland's Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home. In 2003, she was invited to be a guest on Niall Boylan's 98FM late-night radio talk show purely on the basis of having a 'sexy voice.'

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director's Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com




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