Be My Cat: A Film for Anne Review

By Alix Turner
Published: April 27, 2018 (Last updated: January 4, 2024)


Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is a found footage horror/thriller; indeed the first to come out of Romania. Directed, produced & written by Adrian ?ofei; starring Adrian ?ofei, Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton and Alexandra Stroe.

I heard about this film first a couple of years ago, as it had been appearing at many, many festivals and winning many, many awards. But honestly, the title put me off! I thought it was about a person who wanted someone to behave like a pet cat, and I just didn’t get how that could be a horror film, let alone a decent one. But I saw more and more “you might also like”-type of recommendations which pointed me towards Be My Cat, and so when I had the chance to watch it over Christmas I thought, “What the Hell?”

Now, the film has been given some enhancements and is being re-released, so is much more widely available. I have to bring it to your attention again. Here’s the trailer:

This is the first found-footage horror film from Romania, and the writer/director/star’s first feature film, too. Like the first film on my Top 10 Contemporary Found Footage Films list, Found Footage 3D, this is another film about the making of a film. Be My Cat: A Film for Anne is about a young filmmaker who is obsessed with the real actor Anne Hathaway, and has decided to put together a piece to showcase his writing and directing talents to send to her, to persuade her to come to Romania and collaborate with him. He records the making of this film (to be called Be My Cat), as a kind of diary-cum-cover-note that he can send her with the film itself. He auditions three actors, who demonstrate the part written for Hathaway, and he insists it is all done in English, to show her how serious he is; and he goes on to demonstrate his directing skills in unique and unexpected ways.

cat 1.jpgJust like in The Blair Witch Project, the cast all play characters with the same names, to add to the realism. But a good deal of what is clever (not to mention f*****g creepy) about this film is that the viewer cannot tell a lot of the time whether they are watching Adrian the actor, Adrian the director he is playing, or Adrian the actor the director he is playing is directing.

cat 2.jpgAnd the female cast at times can’t tell how seriously to take him either. I’ve read that one of them called the police for real during filming (because she was following direction precisely, or because she was scared?) and the police took some convincing that they were making a feature film.

Those awards I mentioned earlier included “Best Film” (A Night of Horror International Film Festival, 2015), a “Special Jury Prize: Best Actor” (Nashville Film Festival, 2016), a “Best Actor” at the Hamilton Film Festival and many more. Nearly every critic has praised Be My Cat: A Film for Anne. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect by any means; some viewers have commented that a particular special effect was not realistic enough, for example. Personally, I didn’t find that to be an issue, because I was already so engaged with the film. Another has said the writing was flawed because the female characters were naive. But a) no! and b) if they were, that wouldn’t make the film unrealistic.

be-my-cat-still-sonya2.jpgThose women: they deserve special mention. Each of the three “leading lady” types that Adrian hires has a distinct, individual character; they are not simply reading scenes he has written for Anne Hathaway, or two-dimensional pretty faces. Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton, and Alexandra Stroe are all extremely good actors (though Stroe has a bigger opportunity to demonstrate this), and I was very surprised to find that this was the only film role to date for two of them.


I admire and enjoy Be My Cat: A Film for Anne for several reasons, but primarily for the audacity and the creative genius of Adrian ?ofei. He (or rather his character) openly presents himself and his film for the pleasure of Anne Hathaway: how bold can you get? And Adrian ?ofei (the real person) wrote, directed, produced and starred in this film, all to great effect. The character of Adrian is a marvelous creation, too: he presents as a decent, perhaps sheltered young man, and gradually we discover what a complex character he really is. His acting is impressively natural too, making some of the shocking things that happen virtually real.

I like the film also for its tension, especially in the final scenes. The pacing is great, starting with a clear introduction (no time wasted), and then getting to know the main character just for ten minutes or so before the others are introduced. The device of talking to Anne (via the film about the film Adrian is making for her) enables us to see what is presumably his honest face, as well as the one he presents to his actors.

This is a found-footage film, and it does keep to the rules of found footage: there is an established reason for the camera to be in use, and also for the footage to be left behind. There is minimal music, used only when the characters in the film choose to play music. And if you’ve had enough of found footage – especially low budget titles – and are ready for something unique, give Be My Cat: A Film for Anne a watch.

In essence, this is a strikingly original, memorable and tense film. I want to watch it again now. And I hope Anne gets to see it too.

Movie Reviews, Movies