Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Shannon Elizabeth, Mya, Scott Baio, Portia De Rossi
Directed By:
Wes Craven

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.

- - Kinderfeld

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