Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Kristina Anapau, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Rosenbaum, Shannon Elizabeth, Portia de Rossi and Judy Greer

Wes Craven

Running Time:
97 mins

Out to buy on DVD 22/08/05

"It was a werewolf"

After swerving to miss something on Mulholland Drive, Jimmy (Eisenberg) and Ellie (Ricci) run into another car and knock it off the road. Rushing to help the girl trapped inside, they are attacked by a large animal that kills the girl and injurers Jimmy and Ellie. Shaken from the incidence, the brother and sister start feeling a little strange. Their senses have become more developed, they are stronger and have increased agility. This leads Jimmy to conclude that it wasn't an ordinary animal that attacked them but a werewolf.

The creators of the 'Scream' trilogy reunite to introduce some fresh meat to the werewolf horror genre but can the do the same with lancanthropes as they did with the masked killer?

For any horror fan the news that director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson are collaborating again is a welcome one but after numerous rewrites, reshoots and even a complete restart does 'Cursed' reinvent the werewolf flick for a new generation? The answer is no. The slasher flick was in the doldrums when 'Scream' came along. Craven and Williamson saw this and created a parody of the genre that injected a new freshness into it. The same can't be said about 'Cursed'. Teenagers embracing their new werewolf abilities has been done before, most recently and more successfully in the independent hit 'Ginger Snaps' and the twists and turns of the 'who is the killer plot' was the main story of the 'Scream' movies but there is still a lot to enjoy here.

The werewolf legend has been a Hollywood stable since the movie industry started and 'Cursed' plays homage to many of these films. The classic Universal 'Wolfman' pictures, 'An American Werewolf in London' and even 'Teen Wolf' receive the Craven/Williamson treatment, which will delight fans of the filmmakers and the genre. Here we have werewolves running amok in Los Angeles, tearing up houses and cars and of course their victims. All of this is done with the usual Craven/Williamson style, as they create tension and then throw in the odd laugh, celebrity cameo or over the top character.

The werewolves themselves are a combination of CG and makeup effects, with the genre stalwart transformation scene been all CG. While the scene is quite good, the computer generated images still don't have the same impact as Rick Baker's benchmark from 'American Werewolf'. The design of the creatures themselves also pays homage to the films of the past, especially 'The Howling', but you should expect this from Craven and Williamson.

The cast are very watchable. Christina Ricci is a talented actress that brings a certain amount of class to the production. As Ellie, the older sister who works on a late night talk show, she plays the career woman juggling a relationship and the responsibility of bringing up her teenage brother, after the death of their parents. The film tries to bring a bit more to the character than you would expect and the actress does her best with the role but Ellie doesn't have as much depth as she could have had because of a lack of background or real development. The same can be said about Jesse Eisenberg's character Jimmy. He is the typical High School geek who looks comic book, movies and computers. While this might not be much of a change from the usual teen horror movie, Eisenberg makes the character very watchable and quite fun.

The lead pair also has some decent support from Joshua Jackson as Ellie's boyfriend Jake and Judy Greer as Joanie, an aggressive agent. There are also some noticeable smaller roles for Michael Rosenbaum, Shannon Elizabeth, Portia de Rossi, Mya and a cameo from Happy Days actor Scott Baio.

'Cursed' isn't the genre redefining werewolf movie that fans might have been expecting from Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson but it is still an entertaining popcorn movie. With some good jumpy moments, decent special effects and a good cast, there is a lot here to enjoy but just don't expect it to have you howling with excitement to see it again.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie is presented extremely well, highlighting the good special effects.


Behind the Fangs: The making of 'Cursed' (7.43 mins)
Screenwriter Kevin Williamson, special effects supervisor Greg Nicotero and stars Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Scott Baio, Mya, Judy Greer, Portia De Rossi, Michael Rosenbaum and werewolf actor Derek Meyers take you behind the scenes of 'Cursed'. The group talk about the influences behind the movie, the parts they play and what it was like working with director Wes Craven.

The Cursed Effects (6.45 mins)
Special effects supervisor Greg Nicotero and stars Judy Greer and werewolf actor Derek Meyers show you how the monster effects were created for the film. From the animatronic werewolf suit to the fully digital rampaging killing machine, we also get to see how the body and blood effects are created.

Creature Editing 101 (5.32 mins)
Editor Patrick Lussier takes you through the two versions of the movie (currently the uncut version is only available in the US) as he talks about his editing style and highlights how he approached the blending of digital and animatronic werewolf.

Becoming a Werewolf (7.57 mins)
Actor Jesse Eisenberg makes his own video dairy, as he and special effects supervisor Greg Nicotero try and found out how to actually become a werewolf. With a guest appearance by director Wes Craven, this is a funny look at the legends of lycanthropes.

Previews of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' and 'Garden State'


With no commentary track or even deleted scenes, this release only has a few very short featurettes that only slightly cover the production of the movie. Without including the unrated version of the film (due to the BBFC not allowing two versions of the same film with two different ratings) this is a lacklustre release that will disappoint fans. The only highlight is the Jesse Eisenberg's video diary, which is well worth watching.


Ginger Snaps


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