Starring: Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan
Also Starring: Warlock
Directed by: Simon West
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: A remake of the 1979 thriller. Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) finds herself babysitting in a remote house when a scary stranger starts calling her repeatedly.
Featured Feline: Jill is babysitting for the Mandrakis family who own a black cat named Chester. Chester is introduced sitting in front of the large bird-filled atrium which fills the center of the house. Mrs. Mandrakis explains that the cat will probably be sitting in front of the atrium all night watching the birds.
Chester is next seen in a classic jump-scare moment when he runs by Jill as he rushes into a room. It is implied that Chester has the ability to turn on the motion-activated lights that are set up throughout the house.
The next few times Chester is just seen around the house, watching Jill.
Near the end of the film Jill and the Mandrakis children are huddled in the atrium. They see lights going on in various rooms, moving in their direction. Finally the lights come on over the stairs and after an anxious moment Chester appears. Writer Jake Wade Wall explained that the cat was not in the original script but was added for this scene specifically.
The trio escape the atrium, leaving the killer trapped inside. But when Jill is searching for the children she realizes the birds are in the house, meaning the killer has likely escaped through the glass wall. Chester is then seen eating one of the birds, which director Simon West explained was a fake bird stuffed with cat food.
The cat actors in this film were the Warlock team from Hollywood Animals. On the DVD commentary track, actress Camilla Belle commented that the cat was mean and hissed at everyone but the director pointed out he was a good actor. One of the cats has a white spot on the top of his chest while the others do not.
Final Mewsings: Finally, a horror film in which the cat has a happy ending!
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