Retro Review: Cursed

The deadly duo who brought the thriller trilogy “Scream” are at it again with a whole new creation on a very old saga.

“Scream” writer and “Dawson’s Creek” creator Kevin Williamson fashions a script on the bloody and deadly world of werewolves in the new film, “Cursed”

Teamed with fellow Scream collaborator and infamous horror director Wes Craven, Williamson chronicles of the story of siblings Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg) and Ellie (Christina Ricci) who encounter a rather hairy creature after an automobile accident. While trying to save a pinned victim, Becky (Shannon Elisabeth) from a wrecked car, both brother and sister are scratched by the hairy animal.

After the creature departs, the siblings think nothing of what happened and try to go about their normal lives. That is until Jimmy starts doing some research on the internet and uncovers the escalading animal attacks in the Los Angeles area and strange markings on his palm.

Are the siblings cursed with the mark of beast? What is the connection between this legacy and the people in Jimmy and Ellie’s lives? Furthermore, who is the actual werewolf?

The first 20 to 25 minutes of “Cursed” are almost painful to watch as the writing and hack-n-slash editing makes for a jolted movie experience.

The love story involving Ellie and her boyfriend Jake (Creek alumni Joshua Jackson) is probably the most forced and poorly written love story I have seen in years. Daytime television has more passion and believability. I found myself howling with glee to the ridiculous lines that poor Jackson had to mutter to make Ricci swoon.

If you can get past the first 25 minutes and actually enjoy the strong performances from Eisenberg and Ricci then you might actually enjoy the film. I especially continue to really enjoy Eisenberg who burst onto the scene in the critically-acclaimed “Rodger Dodger”.

When Williamson sat down to write this film I am not sure what he was trying to accomplish. He has an interesting premise, some humorous moments, an overly cheesy love story and some pretty decent werewolf effects.

What seems to be lacking is actually playing with the horrific aspects of the film itself. Sure there are some tense moments but for some reason they seem really out of place and are covered in werewolf clichés.

What would have been brilliant is that if the writer and director could have found a way to blend the comedy and the horror a lot like they did in “Scream”. Think of it as a werewolf version of “Fright Night”. Instead we get “American Werewolf in London” meets “Teen Wolf” without the panache.

I found it rather painful watching the awful performance from Joshua Jackson because I know the guy can be a lot better. I also had a lot of problems with the rather goofy star cameos including Scott Baio, Craig Kilborn, Lance Bass and Portia de Rossi. They felt really forced and I never much liked films set in amongst the inner workings of Hollywood.

I guess my last question when thinking about “Cursed” is, was it a comedy or a horror film? There are a lot of good aspects of both but they just don’t seem to gel in this flick.

2.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

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