A brother and sister find themselves undergoing changes in the late Wes Craven’s entry into the werewolf genre.
Ellie is a woman who works as a page and assistant for a local talk show. One fateful night, she picks up her bullied younger brother Jimmy and two find themselves in a car accident after avoiding both an animal and slamming into another car. When the siblings attempt to help the other driver, all three are attacked by a monster. Ellie and Jimmy are both slashed by the animal while the other driver is viciously murdered. Soon enough, the siblings realize they are slowly undergoing changes.
Ellie begins to have a heightened sense of smell when she finds a co-worker with a nosebleed. Jimmy fights back against his bullies when he learns he is stronger than he ever imagined. Jimmy soon believes what attacked them was a werewolf. At first, Ellie doesn’t believe it. However, after meeting with a local fortune teller, Zela, Ellie slowly believes she is in fact, becoming a werewolf. As the duo realize their misfortune, they are determined to find out who cursed them and why, but first, they have to find a way to keep their dig Zipper in check as he too, has become a monster.
The late horror master Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson had become a dream team with their hit collaboration franchise Scream. In 2005, the two have collaborated on their entry into the werewolf genre. What’s great in the film are not so much the werewolf effects, but it’s the slow tense emotions of lead characters Ellie and Jimmy. They are slowly transitioning and show the signs of eventually becoming werewolf siblings.
Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg are really quite wonderful in their roles of the siblings afflicted by the lycanthropy. In the case of Ricci’s Ellie, she gets extremely nervous and becomes more fearful while on the other side of the spectrum, Eisenberg’s Jimmy used his powers in a Teen Wolf-style of confidence, even changing his hairstyle from his trademark curls to a more straight hair look by mid-film. There are some comic moments involving Eisenberg as in a hilarious scene, he wakes up naked in his front bush and proceeds to climb up the wall, a power he will use later in the film.
What makes the film even more interesting is the film allows everyone to play the guessing game of who is the werewolf responsible. What we can say is who is not a werewolf and that’s both Scott Baio and Craig Kilborne, who play themselves in the film. However, there are some little nuances as to who the werewolf who afflicted the duo could be. One can be Judy Greer’s Joanie, Baio’s assistant who seems to vie with Ellie for the affections of Jake, played by Dawson’s Creek and former Mighty Duck Joshua Jackson. There are some nice twists and turns in the story, but the only flaw seems to be the werewolf effects. Originally, the effects were done by the legendary Rick Baker. However, when reshoots were order, the effects would be done by the KNB team. While the KNB team are known for their impressive work, here perhaps because of budget issues, they do not completely look great when compared to their other works. Swamp Thing himself, Derek Mears, doubles for the massive werewolf who in one memorable scene, flips the bird!
Cursed is not a completely bad werewolf film, but with shoddy CGI effects and numerous reshoots, the film has its moments and a nice twist. However, it ultimately is a middle of the road wolf flick.
WFG RATING: C
Miramax Films presents a Dimension Films production in association with Outerbanks Entertainment. Director: Wes Craven. Producers: Kevin Williamson and Marianne Maddalena. Writer: Kevin Williamson. Cinematography: Robert McLachlan. Editing: Patrick Lussier and Lisa Romaniw.
Cast: Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Judy Greer, Portia de Rossi, Mya, Shannon Elizabeth, Scott Baio, Craig Kilborne, Milo Ventimiglia, Kristina Anapau.