I was probably 10 years old when my grandma took me to see CATS on Broadway. I have never forgiven her. I was 14 or 15 when I was forced to endure the stage production again, that time for a friend's birthday outing. We're not in touch anymore. I have already been traumatized by CATS enough for two lifetimes, but unlike cats, humans only get one.
So I knew how terrifying the new CATS movie would be. The second trailer for the Christmas-released horror show has arrived on the internet, and the good news is that it's the second-worst thing I've ever seen in my life. The first was the initial CATS trailer, which was just such a shock to the system that I haven't been able to talk about it since.
Of course, I'm not alone in thinking that we must all be the butt of an elaborate joke. The CATS source material itself is insane. It's a musical about cats each presenting their case to die and go to cat heaven. It doesn't exactly scream "joyful Christmas viewing," especially not when the cats are humans with digitally-enhanced fur and CGI tails protruding from their bums.
Please come with me on a journey through a chronological list of the creepiest moments from the second CATS trailer, if only because it's a valuable exercise in conquering your fears.
BAM! It's Taylor Swift in cat form.
Let's take this opportunity to talk about how the cats in CATS have cat ears and cat fur and cat tails but human faces, human eyebrows, human hands and feet, and human, um, anatomical parts. I never thought I'd have to write this sentence, but here we are: Cats should not have human breasts.
James Corden plays a tuxedo cat (that is, a cat wearing an actual tuxedo) named Bustopher Jones. But there's more of him later. This particular shot highlights the uncanny universe in which these cats reside. That is, presumably, a cat door, through which a regular-sized cat could slink. But it looks as if about three Bustophers could fit inside that cat door at one time.
Are these cats real cat sized? Are they smaller? Are they bigger? In varied shots, they seem to be all three. I'm nauseous just from the size of the world changing seventeen times in two minutes and thirty seconds.
Well, this is obviously a feral cat infestation. Who know what diseases they're spreading? Is there a shelter in town that can take them in and stop them from singing?
Look, Judi Dench is a fine looking woman.
But as a cat, she looks like something that would haunt my dreams.
In this shot, Taylor Swift the cat sprinkles catnip down on a desperate group of cat junkies. This is a cat cult, and these poor animals have become prisoners of their devastating addictions. Merry Christmas!
I just sighed really loudly to myself about how much of a disservice this movie does to Idris Elba. We'll see more of him later...way more...like, too much...but for now, his "Wanted" poster looks less like a cat and more like an actual demon.
But when you actually see him...
...he still doesn't look like a cat. But he doesn't look like a human either. And he sure doesn't look like People's Sexiest Man Alive for 2018.
Also, as the trailer goes on, it becomes clear that in this universe, there must be some sort of cat milliner and cat haberdasher — cats who make tiny top hats with cutouts for their cat ears and cats who make elaborate, sparkly costumes and clothing specifically for the cats in CATS.
I would be more interested in a movie about the cats who are forced to sew clothes for the cats trying to die to get into cat heaven. Seems like a bleak existence.
Then, a cat straight up steals what looks like a human's bra and uses it as a toy. Don't they know how much those things cost? Just like a cat to ruin your very important things.
Jason Derulo's cat energy is extremely unnerving.
In every shot he's in, he's just screaming. "YEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!" I'm going to say, "No. Nope. No thanks."
There are several things I hoped to never see in my life, and a human with a CGI tail and digital cat fur break dancing is one of them. But I've seen that now. And I'm officially a different person.
I CANNOT with the way Idris Elba looks in this movie. Is it too late to Sonic: The Hedgehog this thing and make them do a total character redesign?
Watching tap-dancing is never comfortable. How are you supposed to react? Is it good or clumsy? It's hard to tell. I don't want to watch tap dancing, and I definitely don't want to watch a human-cat hybrid tap dance.
What this gif says to me is, "Look. Look into the eyes of this cat/human abomination. Let it pierce your heart. Exhale as every bit of light and joy in your soul is extinguished in one solitary moment."
It's at this moment when the scary boy cat tells the slightly less scary girl cat that all the cats are vying for a place in kitty heaven. Let me repeat this one more time: The entire plot of CATS is that different cats do presentations about their lives in the hope that they get picked to die.
In this clip, the newcomer cat Victoria (Francesca Hayward) gets bullied by these two mean girl cats. "Cat got your tongue?!" one of them snickers while I curl up into the fetal position.
Oh look, Bustopher's back!
In some scenes, he's wearing clothes. Here, he's naked. What are the rules?! Tell me there are rules.
Is the Judi Dench cat wearing a fur coat?! Please tell me that's not the last cat who won the competition to die. You thought the Midsommar bear suit was bad? Get a load of Judi Dench as a cat wearing a cat.
I'm so sorry.
Idris Elba's naked cat body might be the most disturbing image of the whole lot. I'm not the only one who was distraught over this image. There are tweets galore about how this is the stuff of nightmares. But it somehow gets worse.
He disappears in a puff of dust... or cat dander.
I yelled, "WHAT?!" at the screen when this happened. You'd think it was a relief not to have to see his sleek, weird cat bod anymore, but this somehow made the whole thing more awful.
And then there's Jennifer Hudson.
She's not in much of the second trailer, but she is in this shot, in which she looks like she's trying to hide from all the other death-wish cats and wondering why she agreed to be in this movie in the first place. Meow once if you want us to rescue you, Jennifer!
I don't know about you, but even after seeing all the other cat-humans, I was shocked by this shot of Ian McKellen as a cat. It's somehow worse than the rest.
The cat boob shimmy is, I think, my personal least favorite moment in the entire trailer. I don't want any of this. None of us asked for any of this. Why do the cats have boobs?
Just when you think we're out of the woods...
We're hit with another shot of Idris Elba as Macavity. In this particular frame, it's the tails that send me off the deep end. Oy.
No, Taylor Swift! Stop trying to be a sexy cat. Cats should not be sexy.
The last clip of James Corden's Bustopher Jones is worse than *that* scene in 'Hereditary.'
This might be the first close up of his face, and I just have to say, didn't need to see it. Some of the cats have human eyebrows, but he clearly has cat eyebrows. You can't just not have rules.
Then, he hisses.
He does it twice. It's as weird as you think.
Oh yeah, this also happens. Help.
One last crime against Idris Elba...
Did they replace his teeth? I shudder.
But the most terrifying thing of all...
...is that it's actually coming out. We're mere weeks away from CATS being in theaters. When you wake up on Christmas morning and go downstairs to open presents, CATS will be in theaters. When you sip hot chocolate and watch the snow fall, Taylor Swift's cat boobs will be shimmying on the big screen. When you sit down to break bread with your loved ones, Idris Elba's as a naked cat will suddenly disappear into a cloud of dust. And then, so will we.