The first reviews for Cats have arrived, and critics are… baffled, repulsed, and maybe a little turned on?
Back in July, a film trailer arrived that would change both films and memes forever. From the first moment that the Cats trailer reached our screens, it was clear that our simple existence would never be the same again, our world forever transformed by your favourite actors, prancing about in CGI fur and singing nonsense songs. The film arrives in cinemas tomorrow (December 20th), and the first reviews arrived overnight – happily (for everyone except those who had to write them), they’re absolute gold…
David Crow, Den of Geek:
“Cats is a colossal failure. But a fascinating one […] this movie is one of the weirdest and most garish monstrosities to be birthed out of the Hollywood studio system in this century”
David Sexton, Evening Standard:
“There are moments when this film seems not so much an adaptation of a nonsense classic as a horror story, nearly as obscene as The Human Centipede”
(He also took issue with the size of the cats, in one of the finest turns of phrase seen this year)
“Hooper has chosen, in certain scenes, to reveal these cats to be not human-sized but, clambering over gigantic chairs, parading along mega-railway tracks, quite tiny, cat-sized or less. Since they remain people – pervily disfigured people, gimps really, but still people – this just adds a whole other dimension of bizarrerie.”
Alison Willmore, Vulture:
“To assess Cats as good or bad feels like the entirely wrong axis on which to see it. It is, with all affection, a monstrosity. […] There is something magical about the simple fact that this movie exists, in all its obscene, absurd wonder, its terrible filmmaking choices and bursts of jaw-dropping talent.”
Matt Goldberg, Collider:
“If you saw the first trailer for Cats, you’ve probably been bracing yourself for a cinematic disaster of epic proportions. That preparation will serve you well if you choose to see the finished film, a boondoggle of terrible source material mixed with direction so poor the Academy should repossess Tom Hooper’s Best Director Oscar. Watching Cats makes you feel like you’re slowly going insane.”
(More, more, PUT IT STRAIGHT INTO MY VEINS)
“Tom Hooper’s direction to his actors for this semblance of a plot was to act it super horny. That doesn’t give Cats a raw sexual energy as much as it makes everything incredibly uncomfortable […] Cats always feels like it’s two seconds away from turning into a furry orgy in a dumpster.”
Matt Singer, Screen Crush:
“I’m trying to summon a description of the cats in Cats that does justice to even a fraction of their unholy, dredged-from-the-uncanny-valley horror […] They look like what I imagine the characters in all Hollywood blockbusters looked like if a furry was put in charge of the film industry”
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox:
“Now I’ve seen it, and my own brain feels turned to glitter, much like the sequined blue cat ears on a headband I was handed at the press screening. It is ludicrous and kind of divine, furry and flabbergasting, absurd and, in some moments, weirdly touching. It is a film that resists ordinary treatment and, especially, ordinary reviews.”
(This review also features a ‘Things you will see, and maybe never unsee, if you watch the movie Cats‘ section, which I highly recommend)
Tim Robey, The Telegraph:
First, the headline: “a sinister, all-time disaster from which no one emerges unscathed”
Then, more gold: “Once seen, the only realistic way to fix Cats would be to spay it, or simply pretend it never happened. Because it’s an all-time disaster – a rare and star-spangled calamity which will leave jaws littered across floors and agents unemployed.”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:
This one takes the form of a poem, to quote from which would lose the magic of the whole thing, so please enjoy it here.
Twitter, naturally, was also full of hot takes (including some from the above reviewers, who were so broken by the experience they felt the need to review it in tweet form too):
How wild is CATS? At one point, the colleague I sat next to literally leaned back in their seat and moaned “Stooooop! Stoooooop!”
CATS had broken their mind, now and forever.
— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) December 19, 2019
Glad to report that Cats is everything you’d hoped for and more: a mesmerisingly ugly fiasco that makes you feel like your brain is being eaten by a parasite. A viewing experience so stressful that it honestly brought on a migraine.
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) December 19, 2019
— Matt Goldberg (@MattGoldberg) December 19, 2019
Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not Jellicles can and Jellicles do, they didn't stop to think if Jellicles should.
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) December 19, 2019
I’ll just leave this here pic.twitter.com/tYfcWZpzpe
— WillyB3 (@WillyB3Gaming) December 19, 2019
True story: I got home after seeing CATS and couldn’t look my own cat in the face for a good hour or two
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) December 19, 2019
Taylor swift saves Cats, tell me otherwise
— 🌜-Ravo-🌛 (@gagas_a_queen) December 19, 2019
And of course, this all leads to only one appropriate conclusion:
Say what you like about CATS but no set of reviews in human history has made me more surely think, “Yes, I’m definitely going to go and see this”
— Sean Bernard (@seanbgoneill) December 19, 2019
If you should wish to subject yourself to this, grab an ODEON ticket and head on over for an absolute acid trip, sans the acid.
Also published on Medium.