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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.82%
Worth A Look: 8.43%
Average: 18.07%
Pretty Bad: 21.69%
Total Crap46.99%

7 reviews, 41 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"Undeniable proof that studio greed can (and will) ruin everything."
1 stars

It sounded great from the outset: horror-master Wes Craven would reunite with his "Scream" trilogy screenwriter Kevin Williamson, and the pair would head off to make a modern-day Werewolf Movie, while Dimension Films (which exists today ONLY because of "Scream") would happily foot the bill. Horror fans were psyched, the filmmakers seemed happy, and the studio would undoubtedly have some sort of half-decent hit on their hands. So what the hell happened?

Since movie studios generally don't put out press releases regarding inevitable fiascoes, we're only able to piece Cursed's muddled history together through a few leaky pieces of generally-accepted tidbits:

1. The script was never fully finished when production started.
2. The shooting set was not exactly a pleasant one.
3. The studio execs did not like the end product.
4. Extensive reshoots were scheduled.
5. Several actors found their characters scattered across the editing room floor. Many were excised completely.
6. New actors were brought in to play new (and old) characters.
7. More stuff was shot, most of which was glued together with material from shoot #1.
8. Once the 'rejiggered' version was complete, test screenings yielded largely unpleasant results.
9. In a last-ditch effort to make this thing even remotely profitable, the execs opted to snip the gory bits, trim down the intensity, and package this malformed mass into a PG-13 kiddie affair.
10. Cursed is quietly thumped into theaters during Oscar weekend while the studio crosses its fingers and hopes for Boogeyman-type numbers.

If much of this story sounds a whole lot like what happened with last year's Exorcist: The Beginning, then the moral should be plainly clear to even the greediest studio suit: stop making movies by committee. You don't trust Craven & Williamson to bang out a quality horror flick? Don't hire 'em. You want to rush into production without the assistance of a finished screenplay? You get what you deserve. And please don't think I'm reviewing the movie based upon its troubled production; lots of great movies went through ridiculously difficult gestation periods.

Despite everything I knew about Cursed, I went in to the movie wanting to find something I'd like. Honest. I'm sometimes accused of being a little bit "charitable" to the horror films, and that's a fair claim: I freaking love good horror movies! But it's my knowledge of (and passion for) the genre that forces me to call this one plain and straight: Cursed is the worst sort of horror movie imaginable. It's a cynical and soulless little husk that just trots out cliche after convention, it has no drive or momentum or darkness. It offers just enough visual excitement to fill a two-minute trailer, it features actors both bored and boring, there's nothing remotely spooky or creepy or compelling. This is simply one of the most inert horror films I've ever seen.

Plot? OK, fine...

A brother and sister: a) hit a werewolf on the road, b) witness Shannon Elizabeth being devoured, c) get bitten or scraped (or something), d) end up "cursed". And we all know what that means: find that pesky head werewolf quick! (But take your time doing it.) And since we're talking about a movie written by Kevin (Dawson's Creek), you can obviously expect huge dollops of oh-so-clever glibness, self-referential mockery, and huge long-winded speeches.

Talented and lovely Christina Ricci is basically fed to the wolves here. Since the film was shot, re-shot, and shot a little more, her performance ranges from earnest to absent to entirely unfocused. Plus the length of her hair changes in every other scene, and that's pretty distracting. The rest of the cast members occupy their one-note characters with generic intensity. Jesse Eisenberg does the "geek gets superpowers" schpiel; Joshua Jackson does the sweetheart-who-just-might-be-evil thing; Shannon Elizabeth gets devoured; and the supremely funny actress Judy Greer gets to play a humorless bitch. Just brilliant.

Like Exorcist: The Beginning proved: if you can't make a movie once, best not to, y'know, make it twice.

When the horror fans gnash their teeth about Worthless Studio Fare, this is precisely the sort of movie they're talking about. "Cursed" was not created by Wes Craven & Kevin Williamson; it was created by a boardroom full of scissor-happy pencil-pushers desperate to jump on any old bandwagon...and I doubt any those guys even LIKE horror movies.

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originally posted: 02/28/05 20:30:51
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell ok 3 stars
8/14/11 mr.mike OK 3 stars
6/18/11 art A NEAT horror FILM! 4 stars
1/30/10 Dane Youssef Williamson and Craven reunite again. But you wish they hadn't bothered. Campy. Never scary. 1 stars
12/29/06 William Goss Frankly, I expected worse. Moments of humor and gore almost make this watchable. 2 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai You may be thinking a really bad PG-13 horror're wrong. It's a fun movie! 4 stars
7/09/06 Jim Wow, I didn't think it was as bad as all that ... but it was late and I was sleepy. 4 stars
2/05/06 Shawn Gadberry Such a waste of time and talent... What happened, guys? 3 stars
1/18/06 Nicholas Sheldon Poor Kevin Williamson. What happened buddy? You should have never done WASTELAND. 1 stars
12/24/05 Michele cute 3 stars
12/22/05 MrsVoorheesBabyBoy Horror movie? I thought is was a Comedy? 2 stars
12/22/05 Ethan Wouldn't Scare My 2 Year Old Cousin! 1 stars
11/25/05 shaun wallner this movie was more funny then scary 3 stars
8/23/05 S Davis We all know Craven and Williamson could have done MUCH BETTER! It's like they didn't care. 1 stars
8/21/05 Michael Armocida Movie sucked 1 stars
8/17/05 ES Watched Cujo= loved it. watched the Cursed= hated it. Why do you think that was? 1 stars
7/07/05 Cedric More humor than horror 3 stars
6/24/05 FunkyMunky Since when do werewolves flip people off??? 2 stars
4/26/05 E-FUNK It's moving images of fecal matter. This movie was so fucking bad that I can't get over it. 1 stars
4/19/05 The Lurchprong Splitter More coherent than average horror. To bad Shannon Elizabeth reduced to bit part. 4 stars
3/26/05 Greg Ursic The title pretty much says it all... 1 stars
3/13/05 maxomai Campy, didn't make me think at all. Perfect. 5 stars
3/09/05 pepperann224 wes craven has lost his touch. 2 stars
3/06/05 Roy Smith Ms Greer is loveliness personified. The movie blah. 3 stars
3/05/05 ss A great 5 stars
3/03/05 jeff the movie was ruined when the wolfman actually showed a finger!!! 3 stars
3/03/05 michael weber cough.... horan what is wrong man u know becuase you r the man horan so come over and play 5 stars
3/02/05 baby_girl it was okay but I could've done something else with my time 2 stars
3/01/05 Tyrantis Crappy, but really enjoyable. Like a Godzilla movie. 3 stars
3/01/05 Burg Spackleman Joshua Jackson is awesome, Judy Greer's hot, Ricci is cool. Poorly written but campy fun 4 stars
3/01/05 Me A great film 5 stars
3/01/05 Ian Went for Christina Ricci in action,that alone was worth the admission- two times over 4 stars
2/28/05 Usul MARK is mistaking "kicks" for "licks" 1 stars
2/28/05 MARK 'Cursed kicks bootie!" 4 stars
2/27/05 elsie absolutely atrocious! 1 stars
2/27/05 Pete Holy Moly 1 stars
2/27/05 Chris Why Is Wes Craven Doing This To His Name? He Used To Make Scary Movies? Not Stuff Like This 1 stars
2/26/05 Theresa Wagner Waste of money 2 stars
2/26/05 Naka Don't tell me you expected scares and entertainment from a WES CRAVEN movie. 1 stars
2/26/05 mott the drupal scott baio vs. rob schneider = winning combo 1 stars
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  25-Feb-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Apr-2011



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