Archive for the ‘Cursed’ Category

219 – Cursed

August 14, 2005

Ellie and Jimmy, driving late at night in the Hollywood hills, strike an animal and then crash into another car, which goes tumbling down the embankment. After freeing the woman inside, the trio is attacked by something that ultimately slices the woman in half and bites both Elly and Jimmy. Later, they notice their senses have been supersized and they’ve gotten stronger. They might be … Cursed.

Cursed is a good tale of Bad Things happening to Goodish People. It’s directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, so expectations that this would be a cut above your standard teenagers-in-peril slasher pic were well founded. However, dialog that’s meant to be ironic comes off as uninspiring and third rate. Craven’s overall direction of the film is adequate, though, lending an appropriate dose of spooky atmosphere.

Christinia Ricci plays Ellie, the protagonist in the film, as she juggles boy troubles, job troubles (she works on the Craig Kilborn show), and lycanthropic troubles. She’s a disbeliever at first, but naturally she has her younger brother Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg) to believe the hell out of the werewolf angle, especially since he’s the proverbial nerd without friends of any shape, save Zipper the dog.

Ricci is quite good, as usual, although Eisenberg and all the other youthful thespians in the cast (such as the terminally wooden Joshua Jackson) shamefully overact, although they’re somewhat restricted by the script. Williamson likes to deal in stereotypes, as he showed in the Scream movies, and most of the characters are so written in Cursed. Ellie is an exception, but the others are so broadly drawn that when they do something somewhat unexpected, you think it’s a come on for something else that really is expected.

You might stop and ask yourself questions along the way, such as why would anyone have an opening to a horror memorabilia museum, let alone Lance Bass? Okay, maybe that one answers itself somewhat. And how come the duo – bitten by a werewolf, purportedly – sometimes have powers and sometimes don’t? Oh, wait, that’s also answered: The powers come and go. Got it.

Cursed is a decent film that should have been much better, given its architects. Ricci, at least, gives a nuanced and flavorful performance as the strong female lead. You might laugh intermittently, but rest assured it wasn’t really the intention of the movie to make you do so.

Cursed: **

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