‘The most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen’ – will the new Cats trailer claw back its appeal? | Film


Four months. It’s been four months since Tom Hooper debuted his vision for the film adaptation of Cats. Four months of waking ourselves with wordless screams in the night. Four months of physically recoiling upon hearing words that even vaguely sound like the word “cats – like “bats” and “cans” and “kids”. Four long months of running up to strangers in the streets, grabbing them by the shoulders and screaming “Why? Why do all the cats look like they’ve been Brundleflied into little sacks of pubes?”

Those four months have done a lot of work. Universal Pictures has hurled a self-aware Twitter account at the film, in the hope that we might eventually be convinced that this whole nightmare is all just some sort of ironic joke. Plus, you can get used to a lot in four months. Verrucas, missing teeth, full-scale military-assisted regime change, that sort of thing. Surely – surely! – we’d all use those four months to normalise the hideous sexy-cats-wearing-the-fur-of-their-own-relatives aesthetic of Tom Hooper’s Cats.

Well, now it’s time to find out. A second trailer for Cats has just appeared online. Let’s track through to see if it’s any less horrifying.

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Photograph: Universal

1. Well, I mean the short answer is no, isn’t it? Look at the state of this. It’s still the most terrifying thing you’ve ever seen in your entire life, isn’t it? It looks like Taylor Swift took all her clothes off, daubed herself in Pritt Stick and then emptied the contents of your dad’s hair clipper all over her body. But, hey, it’s early days. Maybe things will improve.

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Photograph: Universal

2. Nope. And the issue isn’t just that all the cats look like discarded genetic mutants, even though they definitely do. It’s the scale. Who in the name of juddering God would build a catflap this gigantic? James Corden, a cat, is standing on his hind legs and he could walk through this catflap without so much as stooping. Three James Cordens could fit through this catflap at the same time. It is a desperately inefficient catflap. Is Cats supposed to be set in a universe where everyone hates doors?

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Photograph: Universal

3. No. No it isn’t. Because here’s the really awful thing. In the Cats universe, CATS CAN MANUALLY OPERATE DOORS. Leaving aside the notion that these genuine affronts to God can simply waltz into your bedroom at night and stare at you when you sleep, why is there even a catflap in the first place, huh? If all the cats have fully operational human hands, and can open and close doors as they see fit, why are there catflaps? Why doesn’t anything make sense?

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Photograph: Universal

4. Hang on. How big are these stairs? If a cat can reach halfway up a normal human door, why are they also only the height of a normal human stair? Are these giant cats or tiny cats? And what sort of hideous proportions are the humans supposed to be in this film? From what I can work out based on the surroundings, they must be three feet tall with two-and-a-half-foot-long legs. Is that why we haven’t seen any? Because they’re too monstrous for the human eye?

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Photograph: Universal

5. Sonic the Hedgehog just spent $35m redesigning its lead character to look more appealing. Cats could have done something similar. But, no, it’s still going with Dame Judi Dench, a cat, wearing a coat made of cat fur. Even though it’s the most disturbing thing you or I have ever seen. Seriously, if funds were short, it should have done a crowdfunder. I’d have chipped in. Anything to spare me from this waking nightmare.

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Photograph: Universal

6. “Why didn’t we see much of Idris Elba in the previous Cats trailer?” you ask. Here’s why. It’s because he looks like he’s been in a chip fat accident. Doing something this awful to Idris Elba should be punishable by the European Court of Human Rights.

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Photograph: Universal

7. This is hard to make out, but it’s a shot of Idris Elba turning into a cloud of dust. And this confirms my suspicion that Thanos is alive and well in the Cats universe. Even more than that, if he’s going around clicking these miserable lumps of hairy afterbirth out of existence, then he might actually qualify as the protagonist of Cats. Finally, something to get behind. Hail, Thanos!

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Photograph: Universal

8. So far, the second Cats trailer seems an awful lot like the first. Can it give us something – anything – to add value to the film? Well, here’s a shot of James Corden the naked hairy part-human cat licking his own hand in an overtly sexual way. So no. No it can’t.





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