We knew, as soon as the project was announced, that the live-action Cats movie was going to be bonkers. The Broadway show is strange enough, but the first trailer for the movie is a furry fever dream that’s either the best or worst thing we’ve ever seen.
Cats premiered 38 years ago in London, and it’s one of the biggest, most successful musicals of all time–despite the fact that it’s literally a nonsense show based on a very weird book of poetry by T.S. Eliot. Even though “Memory” is a bona fide classic, Cats is one of those pop culture phenomena that just doesn’t make sense on paper.
When Tom Hooper’s big-screen version of Cats was announced, we expected something along the lines of his Les Mis. Big spectacle, big stars, questionable singing abilities. But after watching the trailer, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cats was actually directed by horror master Tobe Hooper instead.
Cats could have gone in a couple of different directions. A full CGI production with realistic cats, along the lines of the new Lion King, could have been a decent choice. Alternately, the movie could have taken its cue from the stage production and dressed the actors in catsuits.
The filmmakers split the difference, creating a world where the real human actors are eerily blended with feline features, existing in a world of giant furniture and jewelry as if they were actually cat-sized.
But they still look like people? Or, more accurately, like Furries. It seems as though Tom Hooper’s team used the world’s most upsetting Snapchat filter to film the entire movie.
Some of the cats wear clothes. Some do not. There is no explanation as to why. When you lie awake tonight, thinking about this question, you’ll realize that all life is meaningless. That’s the power of this bonkers, terrible, glorious mess.
Have you seen the trailer for Cats yet?
You will be faced with the uncomfortable realization that you find Idris Elba attractive even as a big weird cat. Taylor Swift somehow looks entirely like herself; in fact, this might actually be her true form, captured for the first time on camera. They convinced Dame Judy Dench to star in this, along with Sir Ian McKellan, James Corden, Jason Derulo, and Jennifer Hudson.
You’ll be trapped between terror, amusement, and confusion–lost in the uncanniest of Uncanny Valleys where the beasts of your nightmares prowl. And, apparently, they sing “Memory” nonstop until you can never get the song out of your head. Enjoy!