Starring Jesse Eisenberg before anyone knew who Jesse Eisenberg was (pre-Zombieland & The Social Network) and Christina Ricci, Cursed is a Craven/Williamson pairing that failed MISERABLY.
I was super excited at the prospect of a Werewolf tale from these two, especially one with
Pacey Joshua Jackson, but unfortunately. Uggggh. There is so much terrible here. So, so, so, so much.
Ellie (Ricci) and Jimmy (Eisenberg) are a brother and sister who hit get into a car accident because of an animal running across the road, and then get scratched by whatever the animal is while trying to save the girl in the other car.
Jimmy seems to realize right away that all signs point to a werewolf, but Ellie insists that can’t be true while simultaneously struggling with her new, heightened senses and having crazily detailed nightmares about eating her boyfriend Jake (Jackson) alive.
Without too much surprise, it’s eventually revealed that Jake is a werewolf, but he explains to Ellie (in a house of mirrors…uh….that’s at the party they end up at, I guess) that there’s another wolf, and it’s the one that’s been killing everybody.
The other wolf turns out to be Ellie’s boss, and former lover of Jake, which is how she got infected. She’s been killing all the women she perceives as a threat to a possible relationship with Jake, and Ellie is next on the list.
When we finally do get to see a person transform near the end, it’s pretty terrible. It just looks…cheap. And the werewolf itself somehow looks worse than the glimpses we got of it early on. But only in some shots, because the makeup/CGI mash is really inconsistent.
Also, after the initial chasing and catching, the actual kills occur off screen, so there’s sadly not much splatter. By the time it got to the final werewolf reveal, I was pretty fed up with the story—and then, and THEN, promoted by Ellie’s unflattering description of her human form, the werewolf screams “Liar!!!” and flips off the camera. I can’t even. I … what.
Just when you want it to be over, it’s not. Because the female werewolf was not the original, Jake is. So he shows up at Ellie & Jimmy’s house and announces that he scratched Ellie on purpose so they could live together forever as he-wolf and she-wolf, but he wants to get rid of her pesky brother first.
Ellie ends up killing Jake by cutting his head off with a shovel, at which point his body bursts into flame while a melodramatic score plays, because I guess killing werewolves in Cursed is just like killing vampires in The Lost Boys.
There are a few good scares—the parking garage/elevator murder being the most exciting—and some interesting shots (Craven sure likes to shoot his actors in bathroom stalls, doesn’t he?), but the script is so bad it overshadows anything interesting.
I mean, a Werewolf dog? HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE? And the weird, played-for-comedy homosexual confession from the popular kid who’s been bullying Jimmy seems completely out of place … including the follow-up at the end where said bully is suddenly BFFs with Jimmy, and brings his now-unwanted girlfriend to him as a … present… I guess?
Cursed just makes me sad, because I feel like with a better story it could have been awesome. But if you’re looking for a werewolf movie, stick with The Howling, or An American Werewolf in London, or even the In Paris sequel, which is still WAY better than this.