SHADOW OF THE CAT (2021) Reviews of Argentinian fantasy film

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Shadow of the Cat is a 2021 Argentinian fantasy film about a teenage girl who breaks free from her family and discovers a new world.

Written and directed by José María Cicala. The movie stars Guillermo Zapata, Maite Lanata, Danny Trejo and Mónica Antonópulos.

Gato (Guillermo Zapata) lives with his teenage daughter Emma (Maite Lanata) and a small group of people, including Sombra (Danny Trejo), on an isolated farm without telephones or internet.


However, Emma, tempted by curiosity, runs away into town one day to attend a carnival and gets her hands on a mobile phone. After she uploads a video of herself to the internet, Emma is contacted by a mysterious woman named Celia (Mónica Antonópulos) who claims to be her long-lost mother. What follows is a mystical tale of family, identity and broken trust set amidst the turmoil of one girl’s question about her past…


“It’s all very handsomely shot, with a feisty soundtrack and ebullient sense of humour, but too often it feels as if it’s just being quirky for the sake of it, especially when it has transparently run out of narrative ideas. There is clear talent on display nonetheless, and the film hit the spot with some fans at 2021’s Frightfest.” Eye for Film

” …this fable-like Argentine fantasy has a few Guillermo del Toro or Jeunet et Caro steampunk elements and also taps into the wealth of lore about medical cultiness that informs A Cure for Wellness […] it has a slow-burning oddness all of its own, with an invented pseudoscience mythology.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“When a film shrugs at the viewer, the viewer tends to shrug back – and while Emma and Cat and Shadow all start off as engaging characters who easily win our attention and our sympathy, by the finish their experiences have become so incoherent as also to seem weightless and inconsequential. Ultimately, we are left to feel like Emma in the opening scene: over-exerted while under-rewarded, with a lot of energy spent but no real progress made.” Projected Figures

“The film leans more toward style than substance, with the relationship between characters seeming more surface-level than fully explored, but the set design and wild imagination behind the film are highly impressive. Fans of Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam, and weird cinema should find plenty to enjoy in Shadow of the Cat.” When It Was Cool


Technical details:
1 hour 27 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Original title:
La Sombra del Gato

Not to be confused with the British horror film The Shadow of the Cat (1961).


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