The stage production of Kiss of the Spiderwoman at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake this summer features a character recounting the plot of a classic '40s Hollywood horror movie: Cat People. Kitten-faced Simone Simon plays Irena, a Serbian girl in New York who is tortured by ancestral memories of her town's werecat history. What set this film apart from contemporary horror movies was its rejection of gnashing teeth and dodgy masks, of monsters and mad scientists: these were ingredients that ultimately made audiences laugh. Instead, ordinary people experienced the extraordinary. The strange and the frightening were suggested by film noir lighting and a revolution in horror movie-making was born. The British Film Institute nominates Cat People as one of the 360 key works in the history of cinema. Not to be mistaken for the '80s remake - accept no substitute.
“With its chilling set-pieces directed to perfection by Tourneur, it knocks Paul Schrader's remake for six”