The Five Most Disturbing Parts of the 'Cats' Trailer, Ranked

From everyone having human hands to whatever the hell is going on with James Corden, this is truly the stuff of nightmares.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Screengrab via Universal / YouTube

Welp, here it is folks: Universal finally released the first trailer for the Cats movie, and it is somehow, like, ten thousand times more bizarre than we ever could've imagined. Bizarre isn't even really the right word; it is unsettling, disturbing even, something that looks more like a horror movie than a family-friendly musical. Why does this deeply cursed film exists, who thought it would be a good idea, what kind of masochist would actually pay money to go see it—all questions we are powerless to answer. Left without any semblance of an understanding as to what the hell is going on here, all we can really do is break down why it's so upsetting and rank its most traumatizing moments into a list, to create some shred of order in this truly messed-up universe.


5. All the Cats Have Human Hands


Director Tom Hooper went to great lengths to make his actors appear as cat-like as possible, employing what he called "digital fur technology" to achieve "the most perfect covering of fur" he could—so why, then, do all of these cats have human hands?!?!? They are fleshy; the digits are slender and strong; they look like some kind of weird vision from a fever dream. This is our first red flag, a nauseating, unshakable image that you will not be able to get out of your head no matter how hard you try. Brace yourselves.

4. Someone, Possibly Jason Derulo, Screaming Inexplicably


Things are kind of quaint and almost pleasant for a little while during the trailer until, about 50 seconds in, our ears are ruptured by the sound of what appears to be Jason Derulo shouting into the abyss for no discernible reason. What happened to him? Who hurt him? What's going on? And why, god—why does he look like that?

3. James Corden’s Weird Penguin-from-Batman Getup and Really Just Everything About Him


Not only are we subjected to the horror that is James Corden as an anthropomorphic cat-creature; we are subjected to cat Corden in a full on tuxedo and top hat, a la Penguin from the Batman movies, who has somehow decided that it's not enough to just talk in his regular British accent—he has to make it really, really British. He is bulbous—and yet still, he has those disconcertingly slender hands. At one point, we see him without his weird little shirt on, spitting some kind of white spherical substance all over the place, and the tuxedo is etched into his corporeal form, its outline eternally ingrained into his fur. Please help.


2. Whatever Is Going On with Idris Elba’s Eyes


Look closer:


Closer still:


What's going on here? Is he blind? Is he about to shoot laser beams from his irises? Whatever kind of weird, mythic power is imbued in these eyes—and whatever pain lies behind them—I do not want to know. I just never, ever want to look directly at them again.

1. What Kind of Terrifying Cult Is This?


Alright, to be fair, I'm sure there's some sort of explanation for whatever's afoot here, some important thematic reason they're all gazing off into the distance, arms outstretched. But it looks like they're about to sacrifice a small child. At this point in our assessment of the trailer, things have spiraled entirely out of control, leaving the realm of "what is happening" and entering "oh good God, no, make it stop" territory. Cat people! With human hands and butts! All saluting the sky!

The lesson here is this: If you wish to retain even a shred of your sanity, stay as far away from this movie as you possibly can—but if you're interested in seeing the most disturbing horror film of the year, make sure to go check out Cats when it premiers December 20.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.