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The Curse of the Cat People

SPOILERS

Added Thu, 11/11/2021
Release date
03-03-1944
Original title
The Curse of the Cat People
Феномены
References

"The Curse of the Cat People" is a film directed by Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise, released in 1944.

The film is considered a sequel to "Cat People" (1942), and there are many common characters in the pictures, but the story that is told in this film is completely different.

Cat People

Movie|1942

Serbian fashion designer Irena Dubrovna and American marine engineer Oliver Reed meet in Central Park, fall in love, and marry after a brief courtship; but Irena won't consummate the union for fear that she will turn into a panther compelled to kill her lover, pursuant to a belief harbored by her home village.

The film takes place a few years after the death of the heroine of the film "Cat People" Irena Dubrovna. Her widower, shipbuilding engineer Oliver Reed married his colleague Alice Moore, they moved from New York to the small town of Tarrytown, and they had a daughter, Amy, who turns six at the beginning of the story. Amy attends kindergarten, but cannot get along with other children: she is not interested in their games, she is much more attracted to communication with butterflies. The children complain to the teacher, Miss Callahan, that it is impossible to play with Amy, as she only hinders them.

The next day, the Reed family is waiting for guests on the occasion of Amy's birthday. Preparing for the holiday, Oliver shares with Alice his feelings about Amy's isolation and the fact that she prefers the world of her own illusions to the real world, like his first wife Irena. When the invited children do not arrive at the appointed time, Oliver tries to find out from their parents whether the children are going to the holiday. However, it turns out that none of them received an invitation. Oliver asks Amy where the invitations they made together a few days ago are. She replies that she put the invitations in the mailbox – in the hollow of the "magic tree". As a result, Oliver, Alice and Amy celebrate a birthday together, during which Amy promises her parents to make friends with the neighborhood children.

The next day, Amy goes outside and tries to make friends with the children, but the three girls she wants to play with run away from her. Amy tries to catch up with them, but when she runs past a big old house, some old voice from the window asks her to go into the garden. Amy comes closer to the house, after which a ring on a handkerchief tied to it flies out of the window. Amy picks up the ring, but at that moment an angry young woman comes out of the house, takes the handkerchief and goes back into the house. After returning home, Amy tells her father about how she tried to make friends with other children, which makes him sincerely happy. But when Amy starts talking about the voice from the window, Oliver sadly decides that his daughter is indulging in her fantasies again. Alice disagrees with Oliver, believing that everything is fine with their daughter, and they begin to argue.

The Reed servant, Edward, tells Amy that according to popular beliefs, if you turn the ring on your finger and make a wish, it will definitely come true. One afternoon, while playing in the garden, Amy turns a ring on her finger and makes a wish that she has a friend. Suddenly, leaves start falling from the trees, the light flashes and fades, and Amy seems to start playing and talking to an invisible friend.

That evening, Amy's mother, who found out about the ring, tells Amy that it should be returned to the owners, and the next morning the girl goes to the same Farren house. The door is opened to her by the same young woman who took the handkerchief from her – as it turns out, her name is Barbara Farren. Barbara locks the door to the house and immediately disappears, and Amy is left alone in the huge living room with strange and frightening things. Suddenly Julia Farren appears from behind the curtain, an imposing elderly lady, a former actress who has slightly lost her mind. She does not recognize her daughter Barbara, claiming that her real daughter died at the age of five, and Barbara, who pretends to be her daughter, is simply an impostor. Julia shows her love only to Amy, which annoys Barbara, who, despite all her efforts to get closer to her mother, feels like a servant in the house. Julia, like a real actress, reads Amy an excerpt from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow about a headless horseman, which makes a strong impression on the girl. At this moment, Edward, a servant of the Reed family, appears and takes Amy home. In a fit of jealousy, Barbara, after Amy leaves, swears to kill the girl at the next meeting. At night, Amy has a dream about a headless horseman, and she asks her imaginary friend to comfort her. Evoked by Amy's call, a gentle wind, followed by a shadow, enters the room.

One day, Amy finds a portrait of the deceased Irena in the drawer of the bedside table among old family photos, and he charms the girl. When the parents find out that Amy has found a photo of Irene, Oliver, in order to avoid additional problems with his wife and daughter, burns all the photos of his first wife in the fireplace, leaving only one joint photo as a souvenir. When Amy goes out into the garden and calls her friend, he appears in the form of Irene. They become friends. Winter is coming, and on Christmas Eve, Amy runs out of the house to give Irene a gift.

Later, after seeing a photo of Oliver and Irena, Amy announces that this woman is her friend. This worries Oliver, who asks his daughter to go out into the garden and call his friend. Amy points to the tree to her father, claiming that Irena is standing under it. The father sees nothing, and, deciding that Amy has once again invented everything, punishes the child by locking him in her room. When the punished Amy is crying in her room, Irena appears and tells her that she has to say goodbye to her and leave forever. Waving goodbye to Amy, she disappears.

While the parents, along with the teacher Miss Callahan, once again discuss Amy's behavior, the girl quietly slips out of the house and goes into the woods in search of Irene. Heavy snowfall begins. Miss Callahan, meanwhile, tries to explain that Oliver unfairly punished his daughter for the usual childhood fantasies, and convinces him not to punish the girl, but to try to understand her better, to become her friend. Oliver decides to make peace with Amy and goes up to her room, but is horrified to see that his daughter is missing. Miss Callahan urgently calls the police, and the parents immediately go to the forest in search of the girl.

Meanwhile, Amy, who got caught in a raging blizzard, remembers the story of the headless horseman. She thinks she hears the sound of a galloping horse's hooves. Amy cringes in fear, but it turns out that she mistook the rumble of an old car for the sound of hooves. In fright, the girl runs away and knocks on the Farren house in search of shelter. Julia opens the door, and so that Barbara does not notice the girl, she intends to hide her on the second floor. However, Julia's heart cannot stand the rapid ascent of the stairs, she loses consciousness, falls and dies. At this moment, Barbara appears, she and Amy stare at each other. At some point, Amy imagines that Barbara is Irena. The girl comes down the stairs and hugs Barbara, calling her her friend. Barbara's hands, initially tightly clenched around the girl's head, relax, and she also hugs Amy in response.

At this moment, Oliver arrives with the police. Some time later, Oliver promises Amy to be her friend and accept her imaginary friends. Realizing that she is no longer needed, Irena disappears.

Phenomena in artwork: Ghost

A girl who dreams of a friend more than anything else in the world follows folk beliefs and turns the ring on her finger, making a wish. After that, the ghost of her father's deceased first wife appears in front of her. He talks to her, plays with her, and even unwraps her gift. Interestingly, at first the ghost is faceless, and takes on a concrete form only after the girl sees an old photo of her father with his first wife. After that, the spirit appears only in this image.

Usually a ghost appears at the call of a girl and looks like an ordinary woman, without betraying her nature in any way. No one except the girl sees her, but this may be due to the fact that no one believes her and does not look in the right direction when she shows her new friend. The ghost disappears forever, dissolving into thin air, after the girl's relationship with her parents improves.

It remains unclear to the end whether the ghost is a figment of the girl's imagination, or the spirit of her father's deceased wife really returned "from a dark, lonely, but peaceful place."


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