First up we have a review for Wes Craven’s Cursed, which opened at the #4 spot this weekend pulling in an estimated $9,564,000. You can read a second review for Cursed inside. Second we have a review for Tartan’s pre-Ringu film Whispering Corridors, which is now available on DVD. If you head on over to Freeze Dried Movies you can read a mixed review for Warner Independent’s upcoming The Jacket, which hits theaters March 4th. Last is a positive look at the indie film Inexchange, which is ultra low-budget- and yet people love it! For everything else there’s always the Movie Pit!
B-D reader Scott sent in his thoughts:
2 and 1/2 skulls (out of five)
“Cursed,” the new werewolf thriller, is a film that definitely benefits from low expectations. Audiences shouldn’t consider the fact that it was directed by Wes Craven (“Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream”) and written by Kevin Williamson (“Scream). They shouldn’t expect miracles from the talented Christina Ricci, the very funny Jesse Eisenberg and TV’s Michael Rosenbaum (“Smallville”). Rather, they should keep in mind that the film also features cheesy special effects and dubious appearances by Scott Baio and Craig Kilborn. The lower the bar, the more horror fans will enjoy this schlocky thriller.
Ellie (Christina Ricci) is a production assistant on the Craig Kilborn show. While driving through the Hollywood Hills one night, Ellie and her brother Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg) hit some type of animal. It’s not difficult to guess which kind. The siblings soon find themselves devouring meat and catching flies. The film then follows the twin mysteries of dealing with were-wolfism and avoiding another wolf that is killing off the citizens of Los Angeles.
“Cursed” has numerous problems. The production of the film became epic for it’s difficulties. The movie suffered from endless reshoots, script revisions and ultimately was cut to receive a PG-13 rating. The final product definitely bears these scars. Characters show up for no reason. Michael Rosenbaum is wasted in what amounts to an extended cameo as a coworker of Ellie’s. Scott Baio appears and then does nothing. (One imagines that perhaps his gruesome death was left on the cutting room floor.)
The film’s tone is an odd mix of 80s slashers and 1950s monster movies. The former can be recognized when over-the-top bullies aggressively harass Jimmy, to the point of absurdity. These sequences are reminiscent of movies such as “Prom Night.” Yet “Cursed” also has the feel of something that should be titled, “It came from the Hollywood Hills!” Characters casually tell one another about their werewolf problems. Nobody seems to find it improbable. This is the level that the film can be enjoyed. Ellie and Jimmy make bizarre and baffling choices, for instance, following a werewolf into a fun house of mirrors. It’s hard not to enjoy that. Will horror fans be disappointed? Again, that depends on the expectations. A PG-13 rating makes the film not particularly scary. “Cursed” also feels like a waste of Craven’s talents. If, however, you’re just looking for cheesy fun in the style of “It Came from Outer Space” then “Cursed” won’t let you down. Just don’t expect a new horror classic from Wes Craven and Kevin Willamson.