Cat Person Turns Viral Short Story Into A Paranoia-Fueled Horror For The Modern Dating Scene


I’m a happily married man, and have been for nearly 24 years. Decades have passed since I’ve had to be part of “the dating scene.” And never have I felt happier about that reality than I was while watching Cat Person, director Susanna Fogel’s consistently unnerving thriller about the perils of text-chain dating that burrows under the skin through its paranoid vibe, and has the power to scare you off of human contact… forever. Cat Person does for modern dating what Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction did for extramarital affairs in 1987. (And keep your eyes on the background of Fogel’s picture for a tip of the cap to Attraction, solidifying the inspiration). 

Cat Person began its life as a short story published in The New Yorker in 2017. I wasn’t familiar with the piece, despite it being a viral sensation. That was for the best. Having read it now, I can tell you that Susanna Fogel adheres closely to the text when adapting this story for the screen, right down to tiny details like a novelty lighter shaped like a frog with a cigarette in its mouth. But Cat Person plays better when you don’t know the directions in which it heads, keeping you edgy with deep bouts of apprehension for the horrors that might befall the main character, Margot.

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