Be My Cat: A Film for Anne
Romania may not be known for its horror films, but Be My Cat: A Film For Anne is a conceptually interesting found footage film by director Adrian Tofei that may change things. Be My Cat has an interesting premise: a young man named Adrian who's obsessed with Anne Hathaway, decides to make a film showing off his directing skills, in the hope that Anne will see it and want to work with him. To that end, Adrian (played by...you guessed it...director Adrian Tofei) hires a few actresses and shoots a homemade horror film. As expected, things get gnarly.
The meta nature of the film is one of its strongest points, and gives it an overall unsettling feeling. Here we have a young director playing a young director with the same name, shooting a horror film with actresses all playing themselves (in name). It makes the head spin, but it's effective as hell. Tofei is enormously frightening as Adrian, and I'd argue that he's actually a better actor than a director or writer. His Adrian is a superficially charming man who thinks he's doing a fantastic job of hiding his psychopathic tendencies, but you can feel his "wrongness" simmering below the surface at all times, even when he's acting his most friendly. He's the stranger your mother told you not to talk to when you were a kid, the one who offers you candy and video games then shoves you forcefully into the back of an unmarked van.
Whether intentional on Tofei's part or not, there's also a lot of interesting commentary stuffed into the film about gender, celebrities and ownership. Hollywood has created an atmosphere in which fans feel they have a right to know everything about their favorite celebrities, even the most personal of details. So when Adrian states, emphatically, that he deserves Anne "on all levels," I legitimately got the chills. It felt exactly like something a stalker would say. Adrian's view of women as something to be owned and used for his own purposes, merged with his intense belief that he "knows" Anne and who she is is a special kind of fucked up, but not necessarily abnormal these days, which makes it all the more terrifying.
Unfortunately, I found the pacing of the film dull. While Tofei's performance as Adrian is outstanding, the film itself is an oddly uninteresting watch. Portions of the film came off as incredibly fake, and the female leads are far too naive and gullible. At one point, a heated argument with one of the actresses has the director moving the camera back and forth, perfectly framing the fight for the cameras lens and sucking the viewer out of reality. It's moments like these that deter from what could have been a great film. It's also burdened with a fairly predictable storyline.
In the end, Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is something I found more interesting conceptually than as a final product. While the film is so meta that it's spooky, the actual experience of watching it wasn't anywhere near as bone chilling and, with the exception of Tofei's performance, it was a rather straightforward film. However, for those horror fans who are interested in seeing something that effectively (most of the time) blurs the line between film and reality, and that brings up interesting questions on society's obsession with celebrity culture, it's worth a peek