The Cat in the Hat into a Horror Film

Tajnia Hussain & Athalia Tan
The Cat in The Hat, is a film based off of the book, that portrays the story of two children named Conrad and Sally spending their day with Cat in the Hat. This film is quite an enjoyment for children and exudes of fun and no rules or boundaries. The actor and costume of the Cat is a tad bit intimidating and has a terrifying of a face so we wanted to create a horror film trailer for it. Since the film came out in 2003, it already has an old-fashioned aesthetic which is very convenient to turn into horror type elements for a trailer. The Cat in The Hat himself looks very intimidating and his costume, facial expressions, and laugh don’t seem to be very “fun” to an age group as us so we used these elements along with multiple different shots in the trailer to make him look like he's the villain. Only one time did we use a filter on the Cat’s face, in the very beginning when introducing him, to make the frame look darker and which would make it fall under a horror film genre.

At the beginning of the trailer, it shows the landscape of a swing, swinging on its own, along with the production company title. This is sort of an introduction to the trailer already, automatically giving the audience horror film vibes. In the background there is dramatic music playing, an instrumental score, that is played throughout the trailer. Mainly when the Cat is chasing the children and when ruining their home. Most of the scenes are in color, accentuating the children’s book element but also showing how bright the kids are and how dark and twisted the Cat is. Black and white and dark tones are only used when Conrad goes into the closet and when introducing the Cat. This gives this sense of darkness, adding tension to what will happen next. The background music gives the trailer some suspense. 

We also included wording throughout the trailer, with the horror trailer theme that was provided from iMovie. This gives a horror movie vibe, making the audience to be at the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next. During these times there was also non-diegetic very slight piano music playing, which is a continuous method used by many directors of horror films. Along with this, there was an establishment of the setting in the very beginning with close-up shot-reverse-shots of the town and the panning out of the kids, when they are left alone after their mother leaves, as well as the panning out and zooming in of the rain, the windowsill, and the exterior of their home.

When the Cat in the Hat was “torturing” the babysitter, this tremendous fast non-diegetic orchestral music was added to show that he is out of his mind. This music was also used towards the end when displaying the treacherous acts of the Cat, such as him pulling out needles and knives. The specific scenes that we used were ones that we thought would be suitable for a horror film including ones of the Cat’s companions, Thing 1 and Thing 2 violently attacking the babysitter. The Cat’s facial expressions and looks are already frightening in many scenes and we purposely put suspenseful music at those times. One scene was when the Cat was going down the stairs, we chose this scene because it demonstrated a low angle showing that he was superior to the kids. 

Many of the shots of the kids are selected medium and close up shots to demonstrate facial expressions and actions of Conrad and Sally to prove that the Cat can be scary. This includes scenes of them screaming, the high angle shot of them going up the stairs when first encountering him, the high angle shot of Sally looking up at Thing 2 on the ceiling, and when the Cat/Thing 1 and 2 were ruining their home. The buildup to when they first saw the Cat was made to be suspenseful, which is why it is a lengthy 30-second scene of Conrad slowly opening the closet door and then suddenly snatched inside. This was kept without music because it contributed to the quiet element and sudden boom in the end in a horror genre. 

We hope that you enjoyed our twist of The Cat in The Hat as a horror film. We put together many different cinematic and theatrical aspects to help us achieve our goal. Enjoy! :)