Upon reading the synopsis of Chris Jopp‘s short film, MEOW, I became quite excited. A film about a murderous cat in an apartment complex is potentially right up my alley, depending on the execution and tone of the film. Fortunately for my viewing pleasure, writer/director Jopp perfectly captures the fun, cheesy tone of 80’s horror-comedies, presenting the viewer with exactly the kind of film they’d hoped for.
MEOW follows Samantha (Eleonore Dendy), a young woman in her twenties who has recently moved into a new apartment. Ignoring the strict “No Pets Policy” of her dubious landlord (Charles Hubbell), Samantha takes in a cat from the alleyway behind the apartment complex and names it “Meow.” When horrific occurrences begin around the complex, Samantha starts to doubt whether her new cat is as cute and innocent as it seems.
It’s clear from the opening shot and credits of MEOW that Jopp’s film is steeped in admiration of 80’s horror. While nothing particularly groundbreaking occurs within the film’s 13 minute runtime, it more than serves its purpose as a fun nod to fans of cheese and killer pets – something that I appreciated and found quite refreshing. Jopp’s script and direction prove to be knowledgeable of the necessary tone required to pull off a short film such as this, and MEOW never comes close to losing one of its nine lives because of it.
The acting throughout the short film perfectly aligns with the tone as well. Eleonore Dendy is wonderful as Samantha, playing her as a (stubbornly) strong-willed young woman who would rather deal with issues on her own rather than enlist the help and company of her mother. Nancy Marvy and Charles Hubbell, too, are great in their roles as the mother and the landlord, respectively. The three lead actors also star in Cured, another short film that I admire, and prove their considerable talents once again throughout MEOW.
All in all, MEOW adds up to exactly the type of film you’d expect and hope for after reading the synopsis. It pays fun homage to cheesy 80’s horror in a way that genre fans will enjoy. I can’t wait to see more from Chris Jopp, as MEOW suggests a bright future for the filmmaker. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to feed my cat.