In case you've missed it (which, hey...you may have. This week has been bonkers), the reviews for Cats are officially out. Let me preface this by saying that I've been dreading this moment for quite some time. The trailer for this monstrosity of a film has been haunting me for months, and until today, I've been doing my best to pretend that Cats does not exist at all. I'm a musical-hating dog person, and I have been naively hoping to exclude myself from the Cats narrative. But the reviews are proving that Cats is a force that cannot be ignored. It is far too powerful for that.
I was most afraid that the reviews would be good, that people would earnestly applaud this hot mess, and that mankind would have taken one step closer to The End. While there are a few people who saw Cats and enjoyed it (??), the majority of critics have torn it to shreds, and the reviews are honestly artful. Here's what people are saying. (Spoiler alert: Everyone is traumatized.)
First off, nobody can handle the appearance of the cats. Angie Han from Mashable says the cats look "like they've been caught in the middle of an Animorphs-style transformation. They have ears and tails that twitch like cat ears and fur and whiskers that look fairly convincing—but also human faces and bodies. It's unsettling upon first glance and still unsettling upon the thousandth glance."
Apparently, the shitshow that is Cats never gets easier to look at. Caspar Salmon from Prospect writes, "At no point while watching Cats do you become used to it."(Salmon also describes the film as a "baffling, humorless CGI nightmare." Damn.)
Brian Lowry from CNN acknowledges that there were originally probably some good intentions behind Cats."If the goal was to provide a holiday musical event that's fun for the whole family, it's a good idea in theory, packaged in the wrong litter box."
This is just a beautiful description from Manohla Dargis for the New York Times: "Judi Dench gliding in as Old Deuteronomy, a Yoda-esque fluff ball with a huge ruff who brings to mind the Cowardly Lion en route to a drag ball as Queen Elizabeth I."
Oh, and Twitter is having a field day too.
"This is the best way to torture someone."
One brave soul literally changed the Cats Wikipedia page to say it's a "fantasy surrealist horror film."
...This is my nightmare.
There are obviously a lot of unanswered questions.
Generally, the vibe is "it was the worst thing I've ever seen but you have to see it too." It's like the movie version of when you see a horrible meme and still have to send it to your friend just so your eyeballs aren't the only ones burning in their sockets.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.