Review by Michael Jacobson
Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, Jesse Eisenberg, Judy Greer, Scott Baio,
Shannon Elizabeth, Mya
Director: Wes Craven
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Features: See Review
Length: 99 Minutes
Release Date: June 21, 2005
the 90s, writer Kevin Williamson paired up with director Wes Craven to
revitalize horror for the decade. In
fact, Scream became a defining moment for the genre, combining genuine
scares with a fun sense of self-awareness and parody.
in the double-aughts, they've reunited to breathe life into an old standard:
the werewolf movie. And they
succeeded. Cursed is easily
the best wolf movie since An American Werewolf in London, and much like
that John Landis picture was a quintessential step forward in its time, so is Cursed
to CGI, we're no longer subjected to long crafted-by-hand makeup shots showing
humans in transformation. American
Werewolf pulled it off startlingly well, but every movie since was just an
attempt to recreate its magic. In Cursed,
we have transformations that are even more shocking and look more real than
ever. If you ever wondered why
there was so much screaming when a person turns into a wolf, these effects give
you some idea of the physical sensation.
(Ricci) and Jimmy (Eisenberg) are two young people trying to make their way
alone after the passing of their parents...she's working for Craig Kilborn, and
he's still in school. One night,
when their car hits something, they end up witnessing a rather horrific event,
as a motorist (Elizabeth) ends up...shall we say...cut down to size by a
monstrous looking creature.
Ellie and Jimmy end up with scratches, which is never good in a werewolf
picture. While Ellie tries to
dismiss concerns, Jimmy ends up reading on the mythology of werewolves, and
piecing together what's happening to them.
Why are their senses getting sharper?
Why does everyone around them find them more attractive? What's with those marks on their hands?
usual, the main plot point is the discovery of who the original wolf was, so
that Ellie and Jimmy can kill it and undo the curse. That's about all you can expect from this type of movie, and
frankly, I didn't find it hard to figure out whodunit ahead of time.
No, the real pleasure in a werewolf movie is the suspense, the gore, and
the horror of transformation, and Cursed delivers all three in clever and
as always, exhibits a gift for making you chuckle while shrinking in your seat
at the same time. It makes for a
fun movie going experience when it works, and it definitely does here.
At the same time, Craven is the master of the genre, and knows how to use
his camerawork, editing and his actors' reactions to create moments of almost
unbearable suspense before delivering the goods.
He doesn't make the mistake a lot of amateurs make by thinking the gore
is the horror instead of a compliment to it.
He's definitely earned his reputation as the go-to man for horror.
cast is appealing, particularly the always-beautiful Ricci as a sad but strong
figure trying to keep her world together in the face of absolute chaos.
And Eisenberg brings a sense of dignity and realism to what might have
been just another school nerd kind of role.
They work well together, and when the time comes for them to turn the
tables and start kicking some butt of their own, you'll be cheering them on.
revitalize horror for the new millennium the way Williamson and Craven did for
the old one with Scream, but in an age were horror seems to be getting
more and more by the numbers and stale, it's a fun, exciting and scary breath of
fresh air. Basically, two top
talents doing what they do best...never a bad thing.
I never got to see this movie theatrically, but this unrated DVD offers a
little more in the blood and guts department...it wasn't too hard to figure out
what might have been trimmed for a safe R rating.
impressive...this anamorphic transfer is vibrant, colorful and superbly detailed
from start to finish. Consider how
much of the storyline takes place at night and in dark places and you'll really
be impressed: the dark scenes never
get hazy or compressed-looking, and the level of detail never seems to waver.
One of the year's best.
is crucial in horror, and you can't ask for better than this 5.1 mix.
From the loud rock music to the quietest sequences where even the sound
of someone's breath can be crucial, the audio delivers with potent dynamic
range, expressive and creative uses of the surround channels to keep you looking
over your shoulders, and kick from the subwoofer to add impact.
disc contains four short featurettes on the making of the movie, the effects,
the transformation, and editing, but view none of them BEFORE you watch the
movie; they contain spoilers. There
are also four scenes with commentary by makeup supervisor Greg Nicotero and wolf
actor Derek Mears.