The loosely connected sequel to Val Lewton's Cat People is stiffer than its forebear, less smooth and supple in its movement. (Gunther von Fritsch was chosen to direct the project, rather than Jacques Tourneur, who had moved on to bigger things, and von Fritsch had to be replaced early in production by former film editor and fledgling director Robert Wise.) Even so, this film has its share of partisans holding it to be the best of all the Lewtons. They have a strong case. A subtle blending of child psychology and ghost story, it adventurously expands the boundaries of what's allowable in a conventional horror film as well as in a conventional sequel. Sometimes a little naive in its expression, but all the more touching because of that, and genuinely profound and insightful in spite of it. Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Julia Dean, Elizabeth Russell, and Simone Simon. (1944) — Duncan Shepherd
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