The Black Cat

Director Dario Argento / 1990 / Italy,USA

Harvey Keitel stars in this adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s tale of obsession and violence.

Rod Usher (Keitel) is no stranger to the dark and gruesome; he’s frequently called on by local police to document horrific crime scenes. But when his girlfriend Annabel, a violinist, brings home a black cat, Rod starts to unravel. Increasingly convinced the feline is out to get him, he commits a brutal act that propels him into a horrifying guilt-induced nightmare from which there is no return.

Part of the 1990 horror anthology Two Evil Eyes that Argento conceived and realised alongside George A. Romero, The Black Cat is a stylish, stunning take on Poe in a modern context, drawing not only from the 1943 short story from which it takes its name but also other tales of the macabre such as ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum.’ Keitel is extraordinary as the increasingly unhinged photographer who discovers there’s no peace once you step into the abyss – a performance bolstered by visual shocks aplenty, grisly special effects by maestro Tom Savini and Argento’s unique aesthetic that chills to the bone.

The Black Cat reveals the full extent of Argento’s virtuoso mastery of the resources of the camera.” – Los Angeles Times (1991)


Istituto Italiano di Cultura logo
Back To Index