FILM INFO: Samantha is settling into her first apartment. Despite warning from the overly cautious landlord's no pets policy, as well as her overbearing mother, she takes in a stray cat she dubs Meow. Through a series of strange and bloody occurrences, Samantha begins to believe the kitten might be capable of murder.
WRITTEN BY: Chris Jopp DIRECTED BY: Chris Jopp GENRE: Horror, Comedy TIME: 13 minutes
And then we had "Meow" to write about. A short film with a cutesy-wootsy title, presented with an atmosphere of 80s and 90s dread. The question I should ask is why wouldn't it be presented this way? It is, after all, a standing tribute to horror films of that era. Not only does it fit the bill visually, but also ends up being exactly what you want and not quite what you think. The plot anyhow. You have a girl. A new apartment with some odd-ball characters... and a cat. A seemingly "evil" cat. Throw in some blood and gore, a twist ending you knew was coming... and you get "Meow." It's really that simple and totally fun. Truth be told, I really enjoyed this film. I grew up in the era this movie replicates and had a blast reliving this "style" of flick. Yes... I wrote "flick." - They just don't make them like this anymore! I totally dig the fun everyone seemed to have when they re-did this genre/style, while still managing to tell a potentially gross story. Writer / Director Chris Jopp didn't go completely overboard with the "gross" factor, but added enough to tip his hat to the old world of horror. When it's all over, you're not left scared or grossed out; yet satisfied, wanting to dig out some of those old VHS tapes hiding in a box under your stairs. Nothing says "entertainment" than when a film makes you want to revisit some old favorites. Visually, "Meow" is a great looking film, even though it's going for that old-school vibe. However, although everything looks great, there is a slight inconsistancy within some of the shots. I'm referencing the coloring. "Meow" does include the required high contrast imagry, but a little "more" would have better suited the indoor scenes. The best examples coming to mind are the great shots of "something coming" down the dark ally. Excellent old style color and contrasting; followed by the interior shots that contained much... much less. Bumping up the contrast to the interiors a little more would have made all the difference when trying to keep things consistant. Another few instances occured where the edit felt a little long-winded. Mainly, a few shots that I assume were meant to feel uncomfortable. They did. Job well done. However, they felt a little too uncomfortable for me, and kept bringing me out of the film. Case in point? When Samantha is on the phone with the Police. The "Are you there?" line just didn't work for me because the silence and length felt very long. These are all such small things, and because "Meow" is done so well, it's left me nit-picking to find anything. There is one element however, that has stuck with me and is not so small. The handling of the "landlord" character. Me, as a humble viewer, felt a little left out and confused by the end of the film. Without giving anything away, the ending could be seen as having two completely different scenarios. Put simply? Why? Did other tenants have pets? Why the Pizza man? Were other reasons at play? His character had so much potential, yet I was left feeling it was an "easy ending" that, since this was a throw-back film, didn't need a decent explanation. When it was over, as you guessed reader, I enjoyed my time here. Chris Jopp and his excellent cast and crew managed to capture a big part of what made old horror films so fun. Nothing beats a bucket of blood and grit splashing around a room, in such an over the top way you simply have to smile. It's satisfying and fun. Or I'm just a sick bastard. "Meow" has "good time" written all over it, and I loved the indirect references. ( I also loved the quick cuts, a-la Simon Pegg films. They fit perfectly! ) If you're a genre fan, or just like good, fun entertainment... this ones for you. Meow baby. -JT