Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, 2015
Directed by Adrian Tofei
Starring Adrian Tofei, Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton and Alexandra Stroe
Aspiring filmmaker Adrian is keen to have Hollywood star Anne Hathaway appear in his passion project, a film entitled Be My Cat, believing that she is ideal for the lead role. In his attempts to entice the A-List actress to star in his film, Adrian films scenes from his project with a series of local actresses performing the lead role, with the results revealing the aspiring auteur to be a deeply disturbed individual with sinister intentions.
Don’t be fooled by the title dear readers, this isn’t a film about a nice old lady hoping to adopt a cute kitten. Instead, Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is another entry into the well-worn found footage horror genre – the first ever, in fact, to have come out of the country of Romania – presenting us with a fascinating tale of obsession, but one that’s very much a film split down the middle.
The acting from lead actor (also director and writer) Adrian Tofei is excellent throughout as the aspiring filmmaker Adrian. Tofei manages to create a character that initially seems like a bit of a harmless oddball, one who is just very enthusiastic about bringing his passion project to life and happens to think Anne Hathaway is a good actress. Although, this sense of safety is quickly demolished as the character begins to detail his obsession with the actress, making it very clear, very quickly that he is a much more terrifying than any mere oddball.
Tofei portrays the character with a deeply unsettling air of giddy, almost childlike enthusiasm, talking to the camera constantly as if holding a conversation with Hathaway, detailing why he adores her so much, his desire to have her star in what clearly will be a snuff film, of his hopes to win her heart. Tofei is terrifying to watch, keeping you on your toes throughout, constantly guessing as to what he’ll try next.
The supporting cast is also on fine form, with the trio of actresses making for believable unsuspecting victims of Adrian’s dark plans. The semi-improvised feel to some many of the interactions between the actresses and Adrian make for some interesting moments.
One standout moment occurs when the first actress, fed up by Adrian’s creepy behaviour, calls the police, which according to my intense and meticulous research (i.e. I read it on IMDB) was completely unscripted and resulted in the police actually turning up to ask questions, a moment which Tofei rather cleverly leaves in the finished film.
The visual presentation is also effective for the type of story being told, with the film being presented as a video diary made by Adrian, which the opening titles tell us was recovered by police. Not the most original style of found footage by still props are given regardless, mainly because of how well this film executes this style, adding layers to the deep sense of uneasiness I felt watching, especially with Tofei’s creepy and near constant narration only making things scarier.
Although, while I admired the performances, the presentation and the overall idea behind the film, I hesitate to recommend it, with the film falling into many of the pitfalls that found footage films normally fall into.
Now, I should stress that I dislike the majority of found footage films, I find them largely boring and overdone, with only a few managing to truly execute the approach effectively. Be My Cat falls somewhere in the middle, managing to avoid the usual problems for the first half its runtime, in which it succeeds in being genuinely unsettling, creepy and engaging.
But in its second half, the film slows to a halt and borders on tedious at times, with the final 20 minutes in particularly being especially difficult to sit through, feeling like a chore at times. This drop in quality is not helped by films ending feeling a bit too abrupt even for a found footage film, ending so suddenly it feels like it could whiplash.
Overall, Be My Cat: A Film For Anne is very much a film of two halves. The first half is excellent, being a suspenseful and creepy horror film that rises above the usual found footage conventions, but these conventions ultimately catch up with the film, dragging it down in the second half and rendering it dull at times. However, the film is saved by its acting, which is consistently excellent throughout, with Tofei’s lead performances easily being of the creepiest performances I’ve seen in quite some time, only growing more disturbing as the film progresses.
If you’re a fan of found footage horror films, I’d recommend this film, you might enjoy it, if you don’t like found footage films, maybe check it out if you’re really curious.
Although, having watched the film I only have one question, has anyone shown this film to Anne Hathaway? That’s the opinion I’m much more curious to hear.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★