Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson,
Shannon Elizabeth, Mya, Scott Baio, Portia De Rossi
Good ole Wes. He knows how to put together a good, by-the-numbers,
popcorn munching horror flick. The master of horror who has
become an icon in the teen horror flick genre by giving us
Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream has decided
to return to film. With having done his take on the master
of vampires in Dracula 2000
a few years ago, I wonder if Cursed is yet another
attempt by him to venture into one of the classic monster
genres, this time with werewolves. If so, I fully expect a
Frankenstein's monster to turn up soon.
In Cursed, siblings Ellie (Christina Ricci) and Jimmy
(Jesse Eisenberg) end up in a violent car wreck, where they
are attacked by a monster who manages to injure both of them.
It isn't too long before both are showing signs that they've
been cursed and are slowly turning into werewolves. This leads
to scenes where their enhanced abilities are on display, though
not with much effort from the production crew. At the same
time, girls who are connected to Ellie's boyfriend (Jackson)
are being tracked down and killed, which, of course, leads
to the big question "Who is the werewolf?"
Honestly, it doesn't take much effort to figure the plot
out and because of that, there are rarely any good scares
to be found. Most of the story is pretty standard fare, though
I do give Wes Craven kudos for sticking to a more retro feeling
to the way the film is directed. Cursed has a certain
old school Wes Craven feel to it and fans of his older films
may want to give this one a view just for that. But, outside
of that, the whole script and a bulk of the film is pretty
plain and forgettable.
Conveniently, Ricci and Eisenberg's parents are dead, removing
the annoying "parent" aspect from this "teenish" cast, most
of whom are well past their teens years but forced into a
perpetual hell of stereotypically acting like teens. Then
again, most of the cast feels like cast-offs in dire need
of career advice. Ricci is far better than the role she's
given and the rest of the cast is basically a "Who's Who"
of people either on their way out career wise or already gone
and just around for the familiar name. The one bright spot
in the cast is Jesse Eisenberg, who really fits the role and
feel of the story.
Special effects are meager and poorly implemented. Early
on, when we're barely given much of a look at the werewolf,
the effects are good enough to entice the imagination. But,
once the werewolf is shown in all it's glory, it comes across
as nothing more than an evil-looking Teddy Ruxpin. In fact,
the effects are so weak that in one scene, when the monster
flips Ricci the bird, it really doesn't feel out of place.
With all this said, Cursed is the kind of movie you
go see if you're bored and want to turn your brain off. It
isn't bad, but it fails to excel at anything well. If you
want a good werewolf flick, go rent one of the Ginger Snaps
movies. Even on their worst days, they're vastly better
than Cursed is.