Be My Cat: A Film for Anne Review
Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is an independent horror film about a young man in Romania who goes to shocking extremes to convince a Hollywood actress to star in his film.
In our current celebrity obsessed culture, one of the more troubling aspects of fame is the potential for misplaced adoration, something that has all too often manifested into distressing news of deeply troubling behavior. Sadly, some who have chosen to make professional entertainment their careers have suffered greatly, from home invasion, to stalking, and most horrifying, even death. This is the motivation behind Adrian Tofei‘s disturbing Be My Cat: A Film For Anne, a found footage film focused on a desperately ill man that makes for not only a chilling horror experience, but an uncomfortable look at the dark side of fandom.
Adrian (Tofei) really likes Anne Hathaway, though her full name is barely mentioned specifically. He makes us aware by listing her movies, most specifically, The Dark Knight Rises and his love of Catwoman (he compares women to cats frequently). He wishes to make a movie of his own and firmly believes that Ms Hathaway is perfect for the role, so sets about to make a kind of demo film about a fan who goes too far in his love of an actress. He hires a lookalike named Sonya (Sonia Teodoriu) to play the part, convincing her that it’s all for a movie, but to be as true to his story as possible, commits to it with chilling ferocity. Needing other actresses, he eventually hires two others, including Alexandra (Alexandra Stroe), who, once realizing what’s happening, must work herself free of a trap or take her place in a film dedicated to madness.
The thing that makes Tofei’s movie a step aside from the usual found footage film is how it avoids the clichés of such. Serving more like a personal video diary of sorts, it’s a twisted love letter to Hathaway, with Adrian directly addressing her throughout, as if she herself is watching him. Adrian, the character, is a creepy, unlikable person but has an admittedly disarming approach that feels not only convincing but in the ears of these young actresses looking for work, professional, his story to them always coming across authentic. Under the guise that everything he says on camera with them is not ‘him’ but the deviant character he is ‘playing’, he lures them into his nightmare, and it’s horrifying to watch.
Tofei is truly jarring, his performance genuinely unsettling, his broken Romanian accented English lending him a disjointed menacing quality that seeps into your bones. His is not the typical monster in the dark almost every found footage film relies on, hardly ever giving us a look, instead he’s always present, a monster on camera from frame one. We suspect something is a little off about him from the start, but it’s not long before we realize he is deranged, corrupted by his savage obsession with Hathaway. He’s a misogynistic creature with a bleak egocentric vision, a vile broken man who has not only stepped blindly into the character he’s created but has become wholly consumed by it. It’s a crippling performance.
Stroe is also quite good, doing things that are beyond expectation, taking the tropes of the final girl to a whole new level. The film is so strikingly authentic, it could serve as a model for study, a powerful examination of what lies behind the process of such a breakdown. It plays out so realistically, it surpasses its own conceit and truly does feel exactly as it is intended. Certainly, questions arise as to why Tofei would do as does, choosing a real person as the subject of his film, even keeping the names of his actors the same as in real life, but it only deepens the effect. If anything, he succeeds in redefining the genre, or at least the possibilities, making what amounts to be the most legitimate use of found footage yet. This is a harrowing experience.
Filmed in 2015, Be My Cat: A Film For Anne is now available on VOD and DVD.
Be My Cat: A Film for Anne Review
Movie description: Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is an independent horror film about a young man in Romania who goes to shocking extremes to convince a Hollywood actress to star in his film.
Director(s): Adrian Tofei
Actor(s): Adrian Tofei, Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton