[Review] Meow (FilmQuest, 2017): Death Follows a Feline Adoption in Wry Horror Short

Writer/director Christopher Jopp delivers an amusing horror short with a decidedly 1980s vibe with Meow. This fun, wicked work recalls the best television terror anthology shows from that decade, but rises above being a simple throwback exercise.

Samantha (Eleonore Dendy in a charming performance) has just moved into her own apartment. Her mother (Nancy Marvy) is concerned about Samantha being lonely, and when the young woman suggests that she might get a cat to keep her company, her mom advises otherwise. Samantha’s by-the-numbers landlord (Charles Hubbell, who boasts a good number of credits in independent horror features and shorts, and provides a pitch-perfect vibe here) reminds her that her rental contract expressly forbids pets. Nevertheless, she takes in a stray cat and bloody mayhem begins, starting with an ill-fated visit by a pizza delivery man (M.P. Johnson in an enjoyable turn).  

Christopher Jopp nails the eighties ambience perfectly, from the lurid colors on display to the pulsing synthesizer score by Fangg, to the arch performances he coaxes from his admirable cast. He also adds engaging touches such as cat’s-eye view perspective. Kevin Horn‘s cinematography in those sequences and throughout  Meow is first rate.

Meow’s story offers some unexpected moments, and serves up some humorous moments along with its diabolical ones. The cat gets bloody, people get bloody, and Christopher Jopp takes viewers on a tantalizing trip to uncover what the cause of it all is.

Meow screened at FilmQuest Film Festival (Provo, Utah, September 8—16, 2017).

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.