Thursday, March 31, 2011

MMM Blogfest 2011: Cursed

My two word summary of Cursed: Relentlessly Dumb.

By all means I should have turned off this movie halfway through and pooped on the DVD, but alas, I did not. In fact, by the end it had won me over. I have no illusions that this was a good film, and there's so much wrong with it that I'm ashamed at how much I enjoyed it.

I first encountered this movie while browsing the used section of my town's last remaining video store. I was shocked that a werewolf movie starring Christina Ricci, directed by Wes Craven, and written and produced by Kevin Williamson had escaped my notice. Without hesitation I plunked down the $2.99 to buy it. I now understand the price tag. Williamson is trying so hard to be clever that it renders all the dialogue completely unbelievable. And the performances follow suit. At no time did any of the actors react as a real human being would in the face of supernatural events. The existence of werewolves is practically shrugged off by all involved, and gruesome deaths barely seem to phase anyone.

None of the actors sell the reality of the situation; they seem to merely be reciting their lines. The strongest performance is Jesse Eisenberg's, not because he's at all believable, but because he fits the part so well. He is written as the comic relief, and is genuinely amusing as the hapless, nerdy brother to Ricci's too serious Ellie. The script, while completely overwrought, does provide a lot of humor that works. Unfortunately, it is at the expense of any real tension.

So, if the script was bad, and the acting subpar, why on Earth would I actually like this movie? For starters, freakin' werewolves! I'm a complete sucker for werewolf movies, and I can forgive a lot of flaws if a film's got plenty of fangs. The werewolves in Cursed looked great (okay, they looked just like I want werewolves to look. Great may be overstating it). The werewolf transformation, however, was so dumb-looking that it elicited my strongest reaction to the movie: it pissed me off to no end. The werewolf attack in the elevator was particularly effective, and the unrated version contained some pretty decent gore.

The Scott Baio and Craig Kilborn cameos were pretty hilarious, and I was hoping beyond hope that the O.G. werewolf who must be destroyed to lift the curse would turn out to be Baio. My friends and I once discussed the awesomeness of a Scott Baio werewolf movie that would obviously have to be named Baiowulf.

So, my verdict here is that if you have any reasonable standards, you're not going to like Cursed. However, undiscerning werewolf freaks like myself just may find it to be an entertaining diversion.

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