After watching this werewolf movie from Wes Craven and Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson I found myself wondering if both had somehow suffered from a combined amnesia, and had completely forgotten making any of their other previous films. Which might sound a bit idiotic, and probably is, but having reunited for the first time since Scream they came together to make a surprisingly pointless and very traditional horror flick.
Craven’s early work was fierce and nasty with a nicely twisted feel to it, and while his glossy Nightmare On Elm Street movies might have lacked edge, at least they provided real scares from time to time. And of course then there’s Scream, the film which supposedly rejuvenated the horror genre back in the mid nineties, or at the very least made them very meta for a while, so how and why Craven then made such an insipid, predictable horror flick is quite bizarre.
Christina Ricci, the only good thing about this craptastic nonsense, plays a tv producer, who one night while driving home with her geeky brother hits a werewolf and another car. Soon both are bitten and the next morning they begin to feel more than a little strange. There’s a fair sprinkling of supporting characters (aka victims) and a dumbass romantic subplot too, but they feel forced and were presumably added in only to pad out the running time.
Ricci and her brother take bloody ages to admit that something odd is happening to them, and there’s only a vaguely scary moment about every twenty minutes. In between these you have to sit through tedious character moments of the variety which would have felt hackneyed in the seventies, with all of the characters being thinly sketched out and not even the talented likes of Jesse Eisenberg, Judy Greer and Portia de Rossi can make them feel interesting or likeable. Kevin Williamson’s known for his witty dialogue, and in both Scream and Dawson’s Creek a sly knowing post modern take on proceedings, but here the script is tired, dull and almost completely lacking in amusing lines.
Making the werewolf realistic has proven problematic for film makers in the past and a high budget is needed to prevent it from looking silly or just plain fake, and sadly Cursed disappoints on this front too. Like the previous year’s Van Helsing it’s insipid cgi which is to blame once again, with the beasts looking horribly naff when onscreen, which is a frustratingly rare event at first, you have to wait for almost the entire movie to be over with for a real glimpse of them and when they do finally arrive it’s a terrible disappointment. Chuck in a pointless cameo from Scott Baio and an ending so obvious you’ll see it coming from half way through the movie, and the lack of decency to even throw in a final twist, and you’re left with one of the worst horror films of the 21st Century, and that’s from a genre which has produced some absolutely terrible nonsense.
Both Craven and Williamson have blamed studio interference for it being so awful, with the former claiming he only did it for the money and that it was recut to make it a PG-13 rating against his wishes, but given that you’d have thought both would have taken their names off of it and this turgid, pointless mess would be another Alan Smithee Film. Either way it’s a film that should be avoided at all costs, even if werewolf movies are your very favourite thing in the entire universe.