Cursed (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/04/2005

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Watchable horror film has good performances and several nice moments but it’s let down by some dodgy CGI and a patchy script.

If someone told you that the team behind Scream - writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven - were making a werewolf movie starring Christina Ricci, you would have a right to expect a better movie than Cursed. Apparently the production was beset by re-shoots and last-minute rewrites due to cast changes and, frankly, it shows. Still, though undeniably flawed, it occasionally throws up a few good moments that keep it watchable.

Accident Leads To Biting And Lycanthropy

Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg (the kid from Roger Dodger) play Ellie and Jimmy - a put-upon TV PR girl and her dorky brother who’s still in high school. While driving in the Hollywood hills they get into an accident (with Shannon Elizabeth, in a brief cameo) and somehow both get bitten by a weird wolf-like creature in the process.

Soon afterwards, they both start developing heightened senses and an “unnatural sexual allure” - Ellie transforms into a slinky vixen-type at work while Jimmy impresses his dream girl by thrashing the school bullies in a wrestling match. However, the Big Bad Wolf (literally) is still out there somewhere and it’s hungry for blood…

Ricci is extremely well cast and manages to look both creepy and sexy at the same time. Eisenberg is equally good and the device of having both main characters bitten by werewolves allows the movie to be part high school comedy (i.e. TeenWolf) and part proper horror movie at the same time.

There’s also good support from Joshua Jackson (as Ellie’s vaguely suspicious boyfriend), Judy Greer (as a bitchy work colleague) and Milo Ventimiglia as Bo, the school bully with a secret. On top of all that, there’s an amusing cameo by Scott Baio as himself, as well as Portia DeRossi as the traditional Gypsy fortune teller, although she’s not in it nearly enough.

Patchy Script And Dodgy CGI

The script is very patchy - it’s good in some places (lots of knowing references to classic horror films; Jimmy researching their condition by reading comics; a hilarious “coming out” scene) but bad in others, such as the whole nightclub sequence. Frankly, you know you’re in trouble when you’ve got werewolves flipping off the police as they’re gunned down.

However, the main problem with the film is the special effects. Craven commits the ultimate howler of forgetting that it’s far scarier to leave the monsters unseen and as a result the film features some of the dodgiest CGI you'll have seen in a long, long time. The main casualty of this is that Cursed just isn’t scary enough to work as a horror film.

That said, it’s never less than watchable, thanks to the performances and some enjoyably off-beat moments - the sight of Ricci sniffing her way around her office is reason enough to see it. Ultimately it works far better as a comedy, both intentionally and unintentionally so if that’s what you’re looking for then Cursed is schlocky, forgettable fun. It could and should have been better though.

Film Trailer

Cursed (15)
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Content updated: 13/12/2017 18:34

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