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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 EricDSnider

"Cursed indeed. I love it when movies review themselves."
2 stars

It amazes me that the man who wrote the smart, self-aware teen horror flicks in the "Scream" series could also write "Cursed," a film that indulges in most of the clichés that those films mocked. The twist in "Scream" was that the kids had actually seen "Friday the 13th," "Halloween," and all their spawn, and therefore knew the rules of survival. But haven't the people in "Cursed" seen those movies, too? Or haven't they at least seen "Scream"?

The writer in question is Kevin Williamson, who also created "Dawson's Creek" and wrote such craptacular films as "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" and "The Faculty." Basically, "Scream" was the quality exception to his general rule of teen-skewing mediocrity -- but it was an exception directed by Wes Craven, who has also directed "Cursed." So perhaps the pairing would again prove fortunate?

Well, let's remember: Craven's name is no guarantee of quality, either. Like Williamson, he is well-regarded; but like Williamson, that regard puzzles me, as quality is his occasional exception, not his rule. He only directed the first and last installments in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series; his other films have been wildly erratic and mostly schlocky. Tell me again why some people get so excited to hear he's directing a new one, because I have forgotten.

Anyway, "Cursed" has a watered-down version of "Scream's" self-aware attitude, with celebrity cameos and random bursts of humor mixed with the unintentionally funny "horror." It is set in Hollywood, where Ellie (Christina Ricci) is a sober young woman with a job working on "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (way to tap the zeitgeist, Williamson!). Her younger brother, Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg), is a nerdy, friendless high school student. Since the plot has no use for Ellie and Jimmy's parents, they are dead.

Ellie is dating a secretive, bearded man named Jake (Joshua Jackson), who is about to open a horror-themed nightclub called Tinsel and who Ellie hears is quite the womanizer, though how this can be true of a character played by Joshua Jackson, I do not know. Jimmy, meanwhile, has a crush on a nice, popular girl named Brooke (Kristina Anapau), whose jerky boyfriend, Bo (Milo Ventimiglia), taunts and abuses Jimmy.

Jake and Bo are thus marked for comeuppance when Ellie and Jimmy become ... WEREWOLVES!!!!!!!! They're driving on a forested road one night when they collide with another car, sending it off into the trees, whereupon a beast of some sort drags off the occupant and mildly injures Ellie and Jimmy in the process. They then slowly begin the process of werewolfization, developing a heightened sexual appeal, super-strength and a fondness for raw meat. Ellie, being rational and dour, does not believe in foolish things like werewolves. But Jimmy, being geeky and lonely, does.

In the tradition of the movies that "Cursed" should be much better than, there is a character early on who tells people that they are doomed -- DOOMED! -- if they do not heed her predictions. Often this character is an old man who's lived in this town all his life and knows what goes on out in those woods, or whatever; here, it is a fortune teller (played by Portia de Rossi), who reads two girls' palms and warns them of imminent werewolf-induced death. She pops up again later to warn Ellie that she, too, is in danger, though since Ellie now has pentagram-shaped zits on her palm -- an indication you've been bitten by a werewolf -- reading her palm is not much of a feat. A blind man could read a palm with five pimples on it.

The film occasionally flirts with campy inside-Hollywood humor, and that's fine, as far as it goes. Its trouble is with the horror elements, which are exceedingly slack. Our protagonists are never in danger until the end of the film, and the "Teen Wolf" subplot isn't really even interesting, let alone scary. The movie wanders for quite a while, seemingly unsure what it's supposed to be doing. Exhibit A of its absent-mindedness is a looooong scene set at a PETA-sponsored Hollywood party, where Ellie meets Scott Baio and gazes longingly at the full moon. Nothing is established, no plot points are furthered, no character development is achieved. It's just a lengthy scene in the middle of the movie that has no purpose. I wanted to snap my fingers to get the movie's attention and say, "Movie! Over here! Focus!"

Note: "Cursed" has a WB factor of three: Milo Ventimiglia ("Gilmore Girls"), Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek"), and Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville"). However, I am confident that if the WB Network had existed 20 years ago, Scott Baio would have appeared on it, too. So we'll call it four.

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originally posted: 03/01/05 08:55:22
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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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