I confess I had never heard of CATHY’S CURSE prior to receiving the Blu-ray press release, therefore I was quite intrigued when I read about it. Horror movies that deal with children are even more so terrifying to me because, well, I love kids. I’m a dad, and I love my kids more than anything. Thinking of them in a horror-movie situation is almost unbearable. As such, I was expecting great things from CATHY’S CURSE. Sure, the setup is familiar, but I figured this 70’s flick could offer an entertaining experience nonetheless.
As it turns out, I got a mediocre film with minimal entertainment value. CATHY’S CURSE isn’t really a bad film per se, but it’s not a great film for sure. It’s pretty much vanilla…a middle-of-the-list horror film that doesn’t offer up anything we haven’t seen before except a confusing storyline. If you’ve never seen many possession films in your life, then definitely give this one a look; otherwise, you’ve probably seen this film many times before under different names.
If you are not familiar with CATHY’S CURSE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Severin Films & CAV Distribution:
Forget what you’ve seen in blurry bootlegs and cruddy budget packs.
This first-ever restoration of the depraved Canadian shocker is being hailed as the genre re-discovery of the year: In 1947, a young girl is roasted alive in a car accident. Thirty years later, her grown brother returns to their childhood home with his mentally unstable wife and sweet daughter Cathy. But when the dead aunt’s vengeful spirit possesses the child, it will unleash an unnerving nightmare of creepy mediums, demonic dolls, and plenty of sick 70s foul-mouthed moppet mayhem.
Experience one of the strangest EXORCIST/OMEN/CARRIE-inspired grindhouse hits like never before, now transferred in 2k from recently-found film elements and featuring revealing new Extras with long-lost star Randi Allen and producer/director/co-writer Eddy Matalon.
CATHY’S CURSE is one of those films plagued with stupid characters. You know the type I’m talking about…they ignore things that would be obvious to a three-year old child, and then they barely act surprised when everything goes to hell. Maybe dim-witted is a better word, but you get the gist.
I will say CATHY’S CURSE looks great onscreen, thanks to the HD restoration. From what I understand, previous copies of this film looked horrible, as most were copied from VHS releases. The fine folks at Severin Films and CAV Distribution have this film looking almost new, with barely any graininess and some top notch sound development. Blu-ray is definitely the way to go, if you decide to watch this.
The acting is so-so thanks to a cast of relatively unknowns. I don’t recognize a single name, although this could be due to the film’s Canadian nature. Alan Scarfe does a decent job as the dad, George Gimble; and Randi Allen, who plays Cathy, does a fairly good job as well. The rest of the cast is forgettable.
The plot in CATHY’S CURSE is where I find the most problems. First, the “prologue” is never fleshed out, nor explained. We do not know anything about the characters, other than the guy thinks “all women are bitches.” This would be forgivable, except for the fact this scene is key to the rest of the film.
Secondly, we are never told why the doll is possessed. We are sorta led to believe the girl’s dead aunt is the one possessing her (although that’s an insinuation the audience has to make…it’s never spelled out, unfortunately), however there’s no reason for the possession, of the doll or Cathy. I found this aspect the most frustrating; a few minutes spent fleshing this out would have made this an interesting film to watch.
As it is, there’s not much going for CATHY’S CURSE. It’s a quirky, low-thrills possession film that pulls from a number of prior movies. I won’t recommend this one, however I’m not going to say it’s terrible either. This will be one for you to decide.
In addition to the excellent picture and sound, the Blu-ray boasts a few special features that include:
• Director’s Cut
• Alternate U.S. Release Cut
• Tricks And Treats: Interview With Director Eddy Matalon
• Cathy & Mum: Interview with Actress Randi Allen and Costume Designer Joyce Allen
• Audio Commentary on US Cut by BirthMoviesDeath Critic Brian Collins and Filmmaker Simon Barrett
• Introduction To Cinematic Void Screening At American Cinematheque By BirthMoviesDeath Critic Brian Collins
• Theatrical Trailer