Sometimes people just lose their edge. It must have all started with "Music at the Heart," Wes Craven's attempt to deny his birthright and direct something completely different from the countless horror classics he's done - a Meryl Streep sapfest. After that, he did "Scream 3," which was less than satisfactory, and now - five years later - "Cursed," a movie so bad it only fits in the horror genre by its ability to drive audiences directly out of the theater.
"Cursed" stars Christina Ricci in a rare completely-ordinary role, as a young woman who works in Los Angeles and who gets bitten by a werewolf. Her disinterest in the role shows as she brings nothing to it, but I can't blame her - except for the fact that she sold out to do this piece of crap. Joined at her side is relatively unknown Jesse Eisenberg, who is equally uninteresting as her brother, who is also bitten by a werewolf. The plot goes something like that: these two losers are bitten by werewolves, they start noticing changes in their mannerisms and begin to realize that they have to kill off the lead werewolf before they are forever cursed. Throw in stereotypical teen romance (the brother is in love with a nice hot chick who is dating a homophobic asshole) and lots of kicking and punching and you have your worst werewolf movie since... well, since ever.
Ah, where to begin? The first few minutes of "Cursed" aren't half bad, as Shannon Elizabeth is once the person of choice to get dismembered. Her death scene is pretty cool, with a fair amount of gore and all the good stuff (well, she doesn't get naked, so not ALL the good stuff). Unfortunately, that is about the only death scene in the entire movie. I've never seen a monster movie with so few deaths. So little happens in the middle of the movie I can't even remember anything other than a few silly high school sequences - and Joshua Jackson digging his career even deeper into the mud.
"Cursed" comes from Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, the duo personally responsible for resurrecting the teen horror genre with "Scream" a decade ago. So much has changed in the decade. Even compared to countless B-grade pieces of crap over the last several years, "Cursed" is terrible, a slapped-together piece of garbage filled with cliché characters, a boring storyline and less horror than you would find at Sunday School. To imagine that these two men, the so-called rock stars of the horror genre, could come up with this lousy disaster is nothing short of a nightmare.
What capped it off for me is the complete disregard for werewolves in the film. Not only do the werewolves look as real as monsters from the original "Doom" game brought to life, but Craven treats them with such goofiness it is hard to take them seriously. Instead of dog-fighting, the werewolves spend more time as humans kicking and punching their way to victory. If I wanted to watch a kung fu movie I would have rented a frikking kung fu movie.
Avoid "Cursed" at all costs. The title does not refer to the characters, but the audience.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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