Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

What an alarmingly appropriate title.

Cursed suffered the worst production and post-production problems than any other film in recent history. Not only was it delayed for over a year, but half the film had to be reshot and some actors, including Skeet Ulrich, Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Omar Epps, Robert Forster, Corey Feldman and The Gator's dream girl Mandy Moore, were ditched entirely even after filming their scenes.

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It comes as no surprise that Cursed, like Son Of The Mask before it, was dumped into cinemas for a single week before being banished to the bottom shelf of your dusty video store. Wes Craven even admitted that this castrated version - the studio cut it down to a PG-13! - was not what he intended and has promised a gorier Director's Cut in the future. I'll take that with a pinch of salt since we still don't have a Director's Cut of Scream (also toned down to avoid an NC-17). Phew, you think Exorcist: The Beginning had problems?

The butchered film has short cutie-pie Christina Ricci and Jessie Eisenberg playing orphaned siblings who end up in a near fatal car crash on Mulholland Drive. As they attempt to rescue a woman trapped in her overturned vehicle, all three are ravaged by a hungry werewolf. Rather than admit to the absurdity of what happened, they try to put it to the back of their minds, despite having a new craving for the taste of blood and heightened senses.

What evolves is a who's-the-master-wolfman plot that is identical to the structure of Scream and every lousy post-modern slasher flick that followed. Cursed is also set against a movie industry backdrop, with many actors playing themselves in an attempt to be ironic and self-referential. It fails. Far too often Craven uses the stinger/sudden jolt/cat-jumping-out-of-fridge gimmick of scaring people. Come on, man! You're better than that!

It's a shame that Cursed ended up the way it did. I could have been an enjoyable no-brainer. But watching it as it is, with the lousy ending and multiple inconsistencies, you will find it tough to enjoy despite the odd laugh or two.

If you didn't like Vampire In Brooklyn, then you certainly will not like Werewolf in LA.

Reviewed on: 13 May 2005
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Cursed packshot
A werewolf on Muholland Drive has a feast on human road kill.
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Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Starring: Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, Jessie Eisenberg, Milo Ventimiglia, Craig Kilborn, Scott Baio, Shannon Elizabeth

Year: 2005

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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