Strays (1991) *
D: John McPherson
C: Kathleen Quinlan, Timothy Busfield, Claudia Christian, William Boyett
P: A family, on the ropes, moves out to the country, but soon find that their new home has been invaded by a group of cats who are not to keen on having someone else on their turf.
Strays is one of those horror films that takes place in a spooky old home reminiscent of the Amityville house. It's the type of setting with plenty of dark, shadowy hallways & staircases. Water always seems to be inexplicably dripping for no reason. Outside, the wind is always blowing and (of course) there's always some kind of big, dramatic thunderstorm every other day. The film also features some decent POV camera work. It's obvious that director John McPherson has some understanding as to what works in a horror film, but Strays is done in single handedly by the film's premise.
It's nice that the film tried to do something different, but the problem is that there's no subconscious fear of cats to begin with that the film's director can play up to. I mean after all, what is the worst that a cat can do to you? They can hiss and holler at you. They can scratch you, but that's about all. Simply put, cats just aren't scary!
Now, I know what some of you are saying. Maybe, they didn't intend to make the film scary? Maybe, they intended to take the film in a more campy direction? Either way, Strays doesn't work, because the material is played so seriously and so straight forward that any attempts at humor don't register. [R] 83 mins.