cat's eye | lewis teague | stephen king | drew barrymore | james woods | alan king | comedy | thriller | united states | netherlands | troll | monster | creature | kenneth mcmillan | robert hays | candy clark | james naughton | based on | short story | novel
Film: Cat’s Eye
Director: Lewis Teague
Writer: Stephen King
Starring: Drew Barrymore, James Woods and Alan King
This is an anthology film that is based around a screenplay by the master of horror, Stephen King. The official synopsis is a stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror.
The other thing that is repeated throughout each of the stories is actress Drew Barrymore. She is quite young in this film and already a veteran in the industry. The cat continues to see her image as it tries to make its way to her. This cat actually goes from three different cities in its journey.
Our first tale is based on the King short story entitled Quitters Inc. This is about a company that has nefarious ways of getting its clients to quit smoking. The main character is Dick Morrison (James Woods) The cat is picked up outside of a store and is used in a demonstration of how Quitters Inc works. The doctor who is trying to help Dick is Vinny Donatti (Alan King).The consequences of smoking are dangerous for Dick’s family. Paranoia grows as he thinks he sees people watching his every move.
This was my second time seeing this film and the first since college. I have to say that this film is fun, especially since I had read the two stories from King’s Night Shift. I was a big fan of both of them as they are solid concepts. Quitters Inc is interesting, because smoking is one of the hardest addictions to quit. By putting your family on the line, it really makes you consider what you would do in that situation. I thought the acting for it was good. Woods is really the star of it and I think he does a great job. His paranoia is so real and you feel horrible when he gives in to his addiction. I really enjoyed how it played out as well. I thought the editing for it was solid as well as the score.
The second tale is also based on a King short called The Ledge. This is about tennis pro, Johnny Norris (Robert Hays), trying to run away with a married man’s wife. This man is a gambler and named Cressner (Kennth McMillan). He has a game for Johnny to play where he has to walk around a ledge around the building in order to survive, get the girl and money. Can Cressner be trusted though?
The Ledge really got my anxiety going. I am scared of heights so seeing Hayes on the ledge had me nervous. I know its not even real which makes it better. To make matters worse he has McMillan messing with him as he tries to get across. The interesting thing here though is that Hays is in the wrong. He is seeing a married woman, but you don’t feel as bad when see how horrible McMillan is. The acting in this one was a little bit mediocre though. I did think it was edited and the score was fine though.
The final story is for the film and called General. The cat has made it to a little girl named Amanda (Barrymore) in Wilmington, North Carolina. She wants to keep it, but her mother isn’t so sure about it. Her mother is played by Candy Clark. That night a troll appears from the wall to take Amanda’s breath. It kills her parakeet first and then General shows up and saves her. The cat is blamed for the dead bird so the mother wants it put down. Can General save her from this monster before it is too late?
For General, I thought this was the weakest of the segments. I don’t mind the concept of a troll like this coming from the wall. I even like the little bit of lore we get about it early on. I didn’t even mind the effects used to make the creature come to life. It is an interesting blend of large items and a little person. It doesn’t hold up all that well though. I did like that Frank Welker did the voice of it, as he is great in that department. I did like the cat and felt bad for it. Barrymore was fine in her role. I even like her parents, Clark and James Naughton. It was just some of the effects that took me out of it. Now the editing and the soundtrack were fine much like the other two.
I will say that this is an interesting anthology as there is really no wraparound. The cat gets pulled into each story, so you can assume that is the story to tie everything together. It is the star of the final story though so that does make it stand out to me. This didn’t bother me, but just some observations that I had about it. I didn’t like that the cat seemed to a little too much intelligence. Not to say they aren’t an animal that is, but the film is almost giving it human emotion.
Now overall, I would say that this is an above average anthology film. The acting for the most part was good. The second story was the weakest in this department. I thought the stories across the board were also good, with the final one the weakest there. The first would be my favorite overall. There were some effects issues for me in the last story. I did think that the editing and score were solid throughout the film. I liked the cat that was used in the film, probably in a bias sense as it looks similar to my own cat. Overall I would say that this is worth a viewing if you like anthology films or King stories.
My Rating: 7 out of 10