the curse of the cat people (1944)

The Curse of the Cat People will always undoubtedly be one of cinema's great sequels. Great because it not only continues its narrative for each and every character we come to know in the initial feature, but because it simultaneously evolves, deepens and solidifies its predecessor's themes. It is also a genre piece that takes on an entirely different genre than its predecessor. As companion pieces, the Cat People films are about the horror of loneliness. Perhaps the horror of the films results when loneliness is misunderstood. In the first film, Irena is lonely and troubled, she can't connect with another human being and her horror is in leaving her limbo state between connection and despair. In the sequel, the daughter of our protagonists, Amy, is lonely too, an outcast socially due to her preoccupation with fantasy. What makes the film work so well is its blending of the two central figures, connected by a mutual need for connection they can truly trust. Amy is an innocent youth, and moreover the daughter of her husband, and so Irena can finally, in death, abandon her inhibitions about connecting with the people around her and embrace her feelings.