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Plot:Two teens a brother and sister, are involved in a random car accident. Upon trying to rescue the person in the overturned car, a beast attacks and drags her off, injuring both siblings in the process. Now their bodies are undergoing changes, weird ones. Upon further investigation,both come to the conclusion,that they are "cursed".
Portia de Rossi,
Daniel Edward Mora,
My thoughts:I knew I couldn't go into this film with high expectations. Granted it had an awesome cast, but after the hell it had been through prior to release,I knew I would have to give it the benefit of the doubt on some level. After it was all said and done, despite all it's pre-release problems, it was far superior to all of this years horror releases so far, and equal to how good "Constantine" was.
My Review:Before I start the review, let me just say that the comments I've read about this film on various forums and at the IMDB are a bit too harsh. Many but not all, are aware of what this film had to go through before it got released. Half the film was reshot, production was shut down because the ending was a bit too expensive, and had to be re-written, and cast members who had previously filmed scenes, were booted off production and replaced. When a movie goes through this much hardship,one should be happy they even bothered to send it to theaters.When they could've just said fuck it, off to DVD/Video with ya.With that said, heres the review. The film starts off with one of the fastest opening credits sequences I've ever seen. Seriously, if you blinked, you probably missed like 3 cast member names. Soon we are introduced to Jenny and Becky,played by Mya (pop star) and Shannon Elizabeth. They get their fortunes read by a palm reader (Portia De Rossi). Hoping to hear good things about the typical young adult female lovelife, unfortunately their bubbles are burst when the palmreader warns them they're in danger from something she calls *The Beast*.Heres where quite a confusing scene pops up. Myas character Jenny literally takes off after the fortune tellers warning, and Becky can't find hide nor hair of her.I am assuming that some scenes in between were left out which would explain how she was able to disappear so quickly.When Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg show up on screen, although playing characters who are related, their characters are very different from one another. Christina (Ellie) is a very important and likeable person at her workplace, while Jesse (Jimmy) is your typical cliche high school bully magnet, which is evident in one scene where hes embarassed in front of a crush by her boyfriend and his jock buddies.What I liked about "Cursed" was that it didn't spend alot of time lolligagging, and pretty much got right to the events which lead up to what the film is all about...werewolves.
Ellie picks up Jimmy and as they are driving on the road, a large animal leaps over their car causing a spin out between their vehicle and Beckies. Becky gets the bad end of the crash when her car tumbles down into a ditch. Soon after we get our first werewolf attack scene,which plays out pretty well, although I for one was wishing to god they had left in the deleted scene of Becky being dismembered by the lycan. Undoubtedly soon after this attack, Ellie and her bro start changing in different ways. Ellie becomes more appealing to guys, while Jesse gets massive strength. I did find it interesting that the powers both siblings recieved perfectly matched the current problems they were facing in their every day lives. Jesse was a weakling, which is why he was picked on alot, while Ellie and her current boyfriend a club owner, played by Joshua Jackson, were having problems of their own. Thus their new found abilities solved all of their life problems pretty quickly.Too bad it couldn't solve the many annoying scenes where Ellies boyfriend pops up to pronounce his love for her. This happens like 3 times in the film in a sequence of cheap scare/jump scenes, once is enough from my point of view. As far as werewolf films go, Cursed pretty much goes by the book in most ways. Most of the film is spent watching Ellie and Jesse enjoy their new found abilities, for awhile. However,the seriousness of the situation soon kicks in when things like metal start to repell them, and they start to sprout claws and fur at the most in opportune times. Similar to "Teen Wolf", just set to a much more serious and dark tone.Ellie tries to move on after the incident on the road that night, but Jesse soon starts investigating what attacked them, which he believed to be a werewolf. This particular werewolf movie does an excellent job setting up it's werewolf-on the-loose scenes pretty well. Theres one awesome scene which involves Myas character Jenny being stalked by one of the beasties in a parking lot. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but it's an awesome scene to say the least. The werewolf scenes while awesomely set up, are ruined alot by the bad CGI. The first attack scene from what I could tell used someone in a werewolf costume. Why not keep this plot device throughout the entire film? After Becky is maimed, all future attack scenes go 90+% CGI. Which is really embarassing and painfully obvious near the films end where all hell breaks loose at Jakes club. Had they stuck with the guy in the costume, it would've been a major improvement. I have no problem with a little CGI in a horror film where it's needed, but the CGI in most of "Cursed" was so blatantly obvious and overused, it was easy even for a 5 year old to tell it wasn't real. Also for some reason pentagrams make an appearance in the film when Jesse notices he has one and then the fortune teller from the opening carnival scene runs into Eliie at her workplace, notices her pentagram, and explains to her that shes cursed. The symbolism of the pentagrams is that the person has bene inflicted with the mark of the beast. Pentagrams have never been identified with werewolves as far as legend goes, but I guess in this movie they used them for horror movie effect so to speak. Again with the cuts the film suffered, maybe a whole subplot connecting the werewolf mythos to satanism of the occult was left on the cutting room floor, but who knows. The film toys with us as far as who the main werewolf is. Although it gives us clues and some pretty direct ones as to who it is, still near the end the movie tosses us a nice little twist surrounding the films furry antagonist. As much as the film was a pretty good werwolf flick, it gets bogged down particularly in the club scene where some horrid and unneeded dialogue is tossed around as Jesse and Ellie battle a werewolf. I liked "Cursed" for the most part. Not to say it didn't have it's problems with the CGI, motives behind the werewolf killings, the unnecessary revelation of one of the male characters *sexuality*, spotty dialogue, and lack of blood and gore, but it could've been much worse. and Honestly, had they skimped on using CGI for most of the werewolf attack scenes, I would've labeled this as a good werewolf flick.But because they didn't, it only succeeds in that decent/pretty good area.
Pros:Nice dark settings,the scene with Mya in the parking lot was classic, pretty good werewolf attack scenes overall, and the film had some nice music.
Cons: Overusage of CGI on the lycans,those annoying tender moments between Jake and Ellie which just didn't fit in with where the film was heading at that particular time,the dialogue near the end at Jakes restaurant, and lack of blood and gore.
Overall:Worth a watch. "Cursed" is a pretty good werewolf flick which succeeds on as many levels as it fails, thus breaking even. It had immense potential before it was butchered, but still atleast from my point of view, turned out pretty good. Not as good as it could've turned out though. Guilty Pleasure material indeed. Better than "Boogeyman" for sure. I for one hope we will someday get to see all that was cut out, but chances are that will never happen. This horror fan will settle for the *Becky gets ripped in half* scene added to the DVD though, hopefully.
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