I suppose it’s only appropriate that with all the horror films I’ve seen (much less all the horror films that are just out there), one comes along that’s just flat out bizarre. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d imagined, but this week I’m certainly reminded of it. I mean, a Romanian found footage film (the 1st EVER Romanian found footage horror, mind you) convincing Anne Hathaway to be in the narrator’s movie is um….yes, interesting to say the least. It’s so far out there that it works. I first saw the trailer for Be My Cat: A Film for Anne a few months ago on imdb, and I was immediately intrigued. Ok ok, so it’s found footage. I’m not really a hater of the subgenre, though I know many of you are. Not for no good reason of course. I realize it’s a cheaper vehicle by which to deliver the film, and for that reason so many filmmakers turn to it, even when it’s glaringly obvious that it’s the wrong application. There are, of course, exceptions to all rules, and this film is definitely one of them.
Written and directed…and edited by….and produced by….and starring Adrian Tofei, Be My Cat is simply about a Romanian film maker who desires to shoot a film with American actress Anne Hathaway; so much so that he documents his interactions with 3 local actresses in order to show Anne his skills as a filmmaker and actor, thus apparently convincing her he is worthy as a cinematic colleague. We soon find out that there’s no extent he won’t go to in order to show off for Anne. What begins as an unnerving (and somewhat hysterical) dressing down of the 3 actresses soon becomes a slightly more than questionable comeuppance they won’t soon forget…or remember. I told you…crazy, right?! Believe me when I tell you that despite the outlandish nature of the film, Adrian approaches it with absolute genius and transparency, and THAT is why his found footage works so well. There are no gimmicks, no tricks, and no attempts at hiding what he’s created. The movie is everything you see; nothing more and nothing less. Pair that passion and craft with his undeniable list of collegiate and post graduate accolades, and it’s a legit recipe for a well-crafted, hauntingly realistic take on our most beloved men’s pastime…good ol’ fashioned chick stalking!
On the down side, it’s a little lengthy for my taste, tipping the horror scales at an hour and 49 minutes. In retrospect, I’m sure some scenes could have been cut down a bit, but on the other hand it really was just entertaining to watch Adrian’s monologues and rants. Some of them were hilarious, while some of them were actually frightening. I digress. It could’ve been a little shorter in my opinion.
So in summary, I should say that what I found to be an absolute asset to the effectiveness of the horror factor in this film was the fact that it takes place in a different country. It’s sometimes hard for me to put into words (thank god I write reviews, right?!), but there is something very unnerving about the unfamiliar. I’d venture to say that you can take any American horror film, change the location and actors to a foreign setting, and automatically (usually) the film’s ability to creep me out increases by a factor of at least 3. If I dig a little deeper, I think one thing that absolutely lends itself to this movie is quite simply the cultural differences. The guy in this film is just…quirky…unhinged…but passionate. Part of that quirkiness is a direct reflection of the cultural differences in the way people interact here in the states as opposed to other countries. The way he expresses himself and speaks with the actresses, the innocence in his voice and eyes, and even down to his word choice are all factors that absolutely add to the effectiveness of this film.
This is one to definitely watch out for over here in the states. Go to imdb now and check out the trailer and tell me you don’t want to see it. You can also keep up to speed with Adrian's goings on on FB and Twitter. In the meantime, check out our exclusive interview with the One-Man-Band himself, Adrian, over on our Interviews page.
I’ll leave you all with a strong 7 out of 10 cleavers for me. I’ve actually got to go, like NOW. I’m shooting a quick documentary for Michelle Pfeiffer for my next movie…