“And I saw a Beast rising from the alley that had animal fur and human limbs, and on its collar a ridiculous name. And the Beast that I saw was like a cat, and its chest was like a pop star’s, and its face was like a woman’s face.” –Revelation 13:1, properly translated.

Many of us saw the signs. The trailers, the CGI—we have no excuse for sitting back and letting Cats happen. But now it’s in our movie theaters, on our silver screen, in the minds of our children. As a seasoned watcher of things, I subjected myself to Cats so that I could bring word of its menace to the people. It’s difficult to type through the holes of this straightjacket, but this news is too important for only my therapist to hear.

Evidently, adapting Les Misérables for the screen didn’t scratch Tom Hooper’s musical itch, so he reached into the depths of singsong hell and pulled Cats from its rightful place. And what is Cats about? I’m still not sure, to be honest. There’s a street gang of cats that compete amongst themselves to be reincarnated by Earth’s ionosphere, and that’s not the third strangest thing that happens.

Right off the bat, Cats makes clear that it has no intention of clarifying its story to the audience. Protagonist cat Victoria is abandoned in the dregs of London, where she is immediately accosted and then adopted by a group of musically talented felines. The movie leaps straight into its first song, an upbeat little ditty about “Jellicle cats” and what they’re capable of. There’s no hint of what a “Jellicle cat” is, exactly, but the caterwauling has commenced—no time for questions!

Really, though, it’s not the lyrics that’ll give you the most trouble—it’s the CGI monstrosities that populate Cats’ hellscape. The Internet’s already had several field days with the movie’s visual effects, but seeing them in detail on the big screen is like falling down the uncanny valley headfirst. Actors’ faces are mapped onto cat heads to varying degrees of success: some faces look like Snapchat filters that would drift off in the wrong direction if the head turned too fast. It’s insurmountably jarring.

Yet their sensuality is even worse. The cats have human butts and breasts, dance with heated sexual flair, and given that some of them wear clothes, many of them are proudly nudist. Their bodies are mostly humanoid, making their lack of genitals even more bizarre amidst the gyrating nakedness. It’s not that I wanted to see their genitals, but I kept expecting to, what with all the smooth crotches being thrust towards the camera. The whole movie is practically an act of indecent exposure.

You don’t get used to the calamitous cat-human hybrids, but the movie’s other flaws eventually seize the spotlight. The story completely lacks forward momentum—it’s just a bunch of bizarre, barely explained events happening in quick succession while cats sing about who they are. Nearly every song boils down to a musical nametag. But the character traits revealed by these songs don’t interact in interesting ways: the Pragmatic Cat is never skeptical of the Magical Cat, for example; they’re both just there while Shimbleshanks the Railway Cat sings about himself before inexplicably spinning into the sky and vanishing. The one cat whose identity matters to the plot doesn’t even get an introduction song.

I suppose there’s some good mixed in with the weird—like the talented dancers and singers on display. The production design is sweetly whimsical. It’s also, uh…

Funny! It is funny—even if unintentionally. Its earnest attempts at humor usually come in the form of cringeworthy cat puns, which are decidedly not funny.

Fear is the dominating emotion of the experience. The titular cats aren’t the only animals with human faces: mice have the visages of human children, and terrifyingly, cockroaches are overly sexualized humanoids too. When three cats hear a dog barking off-screen, I became filled with dread that I was about to see a slobbering dog-human chimera.

Musically, Cats has its catchy moments, and one song comes close to evoking actual human emotion. Like with Les Misérables, Hooper has his actors sing live, which tends to obscure the lyrics behind the loud instrumentation—not a good thing when the lyrics are Cats’ primary method of storytelling. Not that it matters, anyway: knowing what’s going on is a thing of your human-centric past.

Actually, does it have to be that way? Is the stage musical this unbearably odd? I haven’t seen it live, but now I’m afraid to. I don’t want to feel that simultaneously bored and scintillated again. I don’t want to be perturbed by more audience members enjoying the movie too much.

So you’ve been warned: go see Cats.