With Annabelle: Creation now in theaters it seems like as good a time as any to talk about the outlandish movie that is Cathy’s Curse. Before I attempt to dive into this movie let me be very clear about one thing — nothing I write here will be able to truly prepare you for Cathy’s Curse. It’s unlike anything else I have ever seen.
This film opens with a father racing out of the house with his small daughter. They get into their car and quickly drive off. Unfortunately, they soon get into a terrible car accident and their car burst into flames with both father and child trapped inside and forced to endure a horrible death. The important thing to do with this opening is that the daughter takes with her a doll. You’ll want to remember that doll.
A number of years after this incident George (Alan Scarfe) moves into the house with his wife Vivian (Beverly Murray) and their small daughter Cathy (Randi Allen). Once inside the house, George begins walking around finding things that bring back memories of his childhood. We soon learn that this is where he grew up and the man and girl from the opening were his father and older sister. This actually presents a couple of problems. The girl that died was very young, maybe 7 or so, meaning that George would have been younger so how much would he really remember? Also, the house still has all the stuff that was in it when George grew up. Has it just been sitting there all this time with no one living there? That seems weird.
These issues end up mattering not. Cathy’s Curse is pretty loose with logic, which is a nice way of saying there is no logic to anything that happens. That’s ok though because logic is pretty overrated if you ask me.
Cathy ends up finding a doll amongst some of the old clutter left in the house. The doll is the exact one that the girl from the opening — who we now know to be Cathy’s aunt — took with her before she died in the fiery crash. If the doll was in the car when it crashed, how did it survive all these years? And how did it get back into the house? Dun, dun, DUN!
From this point forward the film becomes a possession movie, sort of, with the doll possessing Cathy and making her do terrible things. The first terrible thing comes when she has her first play date with kids from the neighborhood. She literally tries to murder one of the kids. The parents shrug it off as, “kids will be kids.” What?!
Cathy’s craziness only continues to pick up the further along the movie goes. Vivian eventually starts to pick up on it. She knows the truth Cathy is…cursed. She desperately tries to explain the situation to George but he’ll have none of it. After all the man works 18 hours a day at a construction site, he doesn’t have to time to come home and deal with hysterics!
The stuff with Vivian and George is arguably nuttier than Cathy’s possession. Apparently, she’s coming off a recent nervous breakdown and getting used to a new home is a bit harder on her. At one point George mentions how easy it’s been for Cathy to adjust and Vivian snaps. Throughout the movie, Vivian has lots of reasons to be upset with George but this isn’t one of them.
Despite its severe lack of logic and cheesy effects, Cathy’s Curse does manage to create a moody atmosphere. There were a handful of times watching that I thought, “not great, but kind of creepy.” Lots of other movies fail to have that much impact.
Thanks to Severin Films Cathy’s Curse has been rescued from the world of obscurity and given a gorgeous Blu-ray. The film looks great, probably better than it ever did. People say you can’t polish a turd but I think there’s something poetic about cleaning up a film like this and giving it a first-rate Blu-ray release.
The special features are plentiful. The release comes with two cuts — director’s cut and alternate US cut. That’s right, you can watch two different versions of this film if you choose to do so! There’s a great interview with the film’s director Eddy Matalon which sort of suggests there’s a third cut none of us have never seen based on what he seems to think is present on screen. There’s even an interview with Randi Allen and her mother Joyce who served as costume designer on the film. The coolest bonus feature though might be the audio commentary with Brian Collins and Simon Barrett who are just as perplexed by the movie as you’ll be.
No one would classify Cathy’s Curse as a good movie. It’s majorly flawed and makes no sense. However, it does exist and it does so because there is some serious passion behind. It might fail mightily but there’s a genuine attempt to do something interesting and I’ll happily take that. Watch Cathy’s Curse. At the very least you’ll be fascinated.
Cathy’s Curse is now available on Blu-ray from Severin Films.
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