So I saw Cursed last night.
It was obviously a R rated film butchered down to a PG-13, but whatever. To be fair, the after-effects of the chopping block are not quite as annoying and detrimental as they could have been. Key sequences are less effective and visceral than they should be, and the payoffs to certain stalk-and-slash scenes are akin to sex without orgasms, but the core of Cursed appears to have been mostly unharmed.
Ellie (Cristina Ricci) and Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg) are a likable, but more importantly, believable, pair as brother and sister. They share their fit of problems including arguments. During one such argument, they were struck by a wild animal while driving on a remote stretch of Mulholland Drive. While attempting to save Becky from the result of the car crash, she is mysteriously (not so much) taken away by a “wolf.” Ellie, and Jimmy are now too scratched, and infected, as it were, by the mark of the beast. Meanwhile, the body count is rising across Los Angeles, each victim savagely ripped apart by an out-of-control werewolf who may already be someone Ellie and Jimmy know.
Now, this wolf thing, thang, whatever, we don’t really see much of. Quite the point, we see little more than it’s feet for most of the movie. Oh well. The real bugger is when you do see it. It looks ridiculous. This is as scary as a werewolf has looked since probably the 1980s heyday of “The Howling” and “An American Werewolf in London.”
Cursed has my opinion that it still succeeds in occasionally getting your heart racing. In 2005 alone, Cursed is a much more accomplished and electrifying horror film than the hideous likes of Boogeyman, Alone in the Dark, and White Noise. The fact of the matter remains though, we miss out on the most terrifying bits; we miss the parts that we go to be scared for. Whatever. I love the fact that characters kept running into each other to create undue suspense, the stereotypical jock and his secret (read, he’s gay), Jimmy beating the hell out of the bigger kids, the finger from the werewolf, the not so surprising, surprise ending, etc. My take: if you want a scary movie for the intense, spin-chilling thrills, you won’t like it. However, if you go into this not expecting, or in my case, not wanting those creepy “cry-at-home-look-behind-the-shower-curtain” thrills, or simply wanting a funny, slightly jumpy film, this is the ticket.
But whatever, right? You decide.