Siblings Ellie (Christina Ricci) and Jimmy live in a large, depressing house in Los Angeles. Ellie works for The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn (immediately dating the film) and Jimmy spends his schooldays being harassed by homophobic bullies who are convinced that he’s gay. We learn early that their parents recently died, but nothing else is ever mentioned about it. On their way home one evening they get into a car accident with Shannon Elizabeth. While trying to rescue her, a giant beast attacks, ripping Elizabeth in half (earning the “unrated” street cred the DVD brags about on the cover). Ellie and Jimmy suffer superficial wounds from this attack but their bodies remain whole. Over the next few days’ strange things begin to happen to our heroes. Jimmy starts to become more confident, taking on his bullies in a way the rest of us only fantasize about and Ricci, well Ricci just gets hotter. Seriously, her boss inappropriately tells her, “You look hot!” when she walks into work one day. Slowly the two realize that they’re transforming into werewolves and it’s a race against time (God I say that a lot in these reviews) to find and decapitate the head werewolf, if they can figure out who it is.
Ironically Cursed was a cursed production. Originally filmed in 2003 and fraught with script and production problems over half the film was re-shot with several of the characters replaced by different actors. When I popped this DVD in I was fully prepared to dislike this film despite Octopunk’s pretty positive review last year. Admittedly I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole werewolf mythos so the deck was already stacked against this movie for me. During the first 5 minutes my dislike was confirmed as several things happened very quickly that violate my enjoyment of horror at a core level. It’s easier if you just listen to my thoughts as I started watching this,
“Hmmmm, hard rock music that’s now outdated. Starring Christina Ricci (cool). Also starring Shannon Elizabeth (sigh) and Dawson’s Creek Joshua Jackson (fuck!). Written by Dawson’s Creek creator, I Know What You did Last Summer writer, Teaching Mrs. Tingle director, Scream 2 and Scream 3 producer Kevin Williamson (damnit!). Directed by Wes-I-haven’t-had-a-good-movie-since-A-Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-Craven (shit!). Hmmmm, more outdated hard rock. Wow, a third outdated hard rock song.”
At this point my expectations were lower than a limbo champ. But then something happened. I got into it. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, “After all your crotchety thoughts how you could you possibly like this thing?” Unpredictable at times, surprisingly vicious (this is the “unrated” edition after all, have I mentioned that?), and moving at a breakneck pace, Cursed sucked me right in. Yes there were still the annoying Williamson touches such as characters always having the PERFECT comeback to an insult and good-looking “teens” in their late 20s (I don’t know where he went to high school but most of my classmates were about as attractive as a corpse), yet these things can be overlooked because Cursed is full of fun werewolf action (even if the FX are sub par at times).