Directed by: Adrian Tofei
Cast: Adrian Tofei, Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton, Alexandra Stroe
I’ve never so much as contemplated a trip to Romania, and after watching Adrian Tofei’s found footage flick, Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, I don’t think my travel plans will be changing. I understand that this is just a film. Really, I do. I also understand that Tofei may be a performer too convincing for his own damn good. If you haven’t had the chance to screen this profoundly disconcerting little indie, you’ve either done yourself an injustice, or you’ve avoided a few gnarly nightmares. If you’re here, and you’re a horror nut like most of us, this should only beg the question: Why the hell have I not seen this movie?
It’s a dreadfully uncomfortable film that invokes nearly-tangible feelings of helplessness, anxiety and, if you’re particularly sensitive, perhaps even a wave of xenophobia. Watching Adrian gush over Anne Hathaway – who he constantly reminds us played the role of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises – isn’t settling, but hey, he’s a guy with an obvious crush that’s begun to bleed over into obsession. That’s something that actors and actresses truly do deal with, some on a regular basis. And if Adrian’s obsession is atypically powerful, well maybe he’ll put his energies into something productive… like making a movie.
Why does Adrian choose to make a movie, and why is it “for Anne?”
What’s going to happen in this little movie?
You don’t want to know. And you do.
I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers, but you likely recognize that, from the title alone, this one is going to head in a pitch black direction. It does just that, and in pretty swift fashion, to boot. Adrian wastes very little time in letting the audience know his intentions. And those intentions are twisted enough to mess with a viewer’s mind, no doubt. But when you actually see Adrian, and you see his awkward energy and eccentrically detached dedication to his project – and Anne Hathaway – the chill that goes spiraling down the spine is impossible to avoid. You can’t get away from it.
Tofei is – somehow – simultaneously aloof and terrifying. He’s giddy, yet he’s boiling with something very troubling just beneath the surface of a flighty energy. He’s basically the creepy guy around the way who sets off every internal alarm we’ve got… but he’s holding a giant Snickers wrapped in a C-note… and damned if you aren’t only broke, you’re not yourself.
The pacing of the film feels just a tad disjointed, but that could well be a result of me overinvesting in the first girl that Adrian meets. I had the impression she would be the major focus of the film, but that doesn’t prove entirely accurate. Even if the motion of the movie seemed a tad rough from time to time, it’s still an extremely successful found footage offering, and that’s a huge compliment. These movies are difficult to make, and they’re even more difficult to make genuinely frightening. But Adrian pulls it off, and I can’t begin to praise the man enough.
This is the rare “original” horror film that fans scream for. How many will see it? That’s always difficult to predict. I like to believe the film will grow into something career changing for Adrian. He’s new to the game, so if he can come out swinging with a big hit right off the bat, his future will really be pretty wide open, and if he’s determined to place focus on making his own films, he could find that task a lot easier than others. I’m wishing the man well, he’s absurdly talented.