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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Cathy's Curse (Blu-ray)
Cathy's Curse (Blu-ray)
Severin // Unrated // April 11, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted June 4, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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Cathy's Curse:
Been having troubles writing this review for Cathy's Curse, a Canuxploitation potboiler of staggering import. Or not. Severin Films probably doesn't care where the movie ranks or what it is really, and maybe they shouldn't. Is it a harebrained take on Audrey Rose? The Exorcist? Or a five-and-dime take on The Omen? Is it full of artful shots and a malignant moppet? Or crappy performances and an After School Special budget? Can it be all these things and more? And why haven't you ordered it yet?

Ancient flashbacks reveal a poor girl, killed cruelly in a fiery car crash. Cut to 1980s Montreal (yeah you right baby) as a cute family moves into a lovely home, more or less haunted by the girl killed in the car crash. (If you think that's a spoiler, leave the room now, please.) Soon enough, dear Cathy (Randi Allen) gets the old curse when she finds a terrifying portrait and diseased doll in the attic. The adults call Cathy's new doll a "filthy rag," inciting the girl to fits of rage such as summoning five rats, three snakes and a tarantula to torture her decrepit grand-paw, whom she otherwise forces to binge-drink whisky. Cool kid.

While director Eddy Matalon and cinematographer Jean-Jacques Tarb├Ęs may summon more than a few artfully composed shots and delightfully odd set pieces, their whack-job of a movie ultimately fails to grasp that for which it reaches; with right-off-the-street performances being the principal reason for this shortfall. Mary Morter as the Medium-cum-family-friend overseeing their occult transition into this new abode is particularly wooden, and though you can tell that the character and actress both REALLY FEEL FOR this family, you'd probably be better off having SIRI read the lines. Cathy's dad (Alan Scarfe) is not much better. As a performer, he seems teleported in from a Baby Powder commercial.

But what you and I look for here is present in significant enough quantity to make this Blu-ray a no-brainer for the shelf. In other words, if when you think of '80s Canadian Horror, more than David Cronenberg comes to mind, you're in the right place. Cathy's Curse is artful, well photographed, and equally whacked-out and stupid. So let's let the little possessed girl bitch and moan and force her granddad to get blind drunk. The Devil made her do it! "Doncha like it, dear old Paul?" Yes, yes, Paul does, and so do we. Highly Recommended.

The DVD

Video:
Severin Films curses us with this AVC encoded 1080p transfer in a 1.85:1 ratio, from 'recently found elements' that are at least much better than a recently found VHS bootleg purchased at a second hand store in a coastal town with a population of 500. While the image is often soft in a charming '80s kind of way, it has generally acceptable detail levels. The movie isn't particularly dark, but when it is, detail levels are OK. Occasional light leaks make the right side of the screen a little lighter on the periphery, and some bits of damage, flecks and such, did not escape the scrubber. On the whole, this looks worlds better than that 50-cent VHS, but just a bit better than acceptable for Blu-ray.

Sound:
The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mix is good enough. The film contains a lot of priceless dialog, which is clean and clear, without any discernable damage or distortion. There is of course not much dimensionality in the mix, and the dynamic range is somewhat limited, but hey, what do you want?

Extras:
Extras include a few fun Easter Eggs, a Commentary Track on the US Cut of the film from Brian Collins and Simon Barrett, who crack wise and toss back some dranks. It's a lot of fun. There are two Interviews, 20 minutes with director Eddy Matalon, who goes in depth on the production of the film, and 12 minutes with actress Randi (Cathy) Allen, and her costumer mom Joyce. The Theatrical Trailer is included, as well as an Introduction to the Cinematic Void Screening, and most notably, you get the US Cut and the longer Director's Cut.

Final Thoughts:
This Blu-ray is a no-brainer for the super-deep horror hound's shelf. If when you think of '80s Canadian Horror, more than David Cronenberg comes to mind, you're in the right place. Cathy's Curse is artful, well photographed, and equally whacked-out and stupid. So let's let the little possessed girl bitch and moan and force her granddad to get blind drunk. The Devil made her do it. "Doncha like it, dear old Paul?" Yes, yes, Paul does, and so do we. Highly Recommended.

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

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