Movie Reviews 73 – Cursed (2005)

The prospect of seeing Christina Ricci in a mature role was what lured me to this werewolf story that seemed pretty run of the mill based on the description. I was even more enamored when I saw Joshua Jackson in the credits, but this movie still had to prove itself to me despite being directed by Wes Craven.

Not surprisingly like every other werewolf movie, this starts out with someone getting bitten. Fair enough. But what makes it slightly different this time is that it is a duo with big sister Ellie and her teen brother Jimmy (Christina and Jesse Eisenberg) that get the treatment. It happens on a late night drive after crashing into another vehicle. As they attempt to save the people in the other car a creature attacks them all, disposing of the other car’s inhabitants completely but only taking small nicks out of Ellie and Jimmy.

The inevitable ensuing mystery as the siblings start feeling the lycanthropic effects and realization that they are indeed becoming werewolves is all encapsulated in the Hollywood talk-show world in which Ellie is a producer. She has to contend with a bitchy adversary (perfectly played by Judy Greer) and a boyfriend (Jackson) who seems to be giving her the brush off of late. Meanwhile her brother has to contend with the usual high school hang-ups and and teen angst issues, most of those at the hands of the local jock (Milo Ventimiglia) who’s going out with the girl Jimmy has set his heart on.

While this all seems pretty humdrum it really isn’t all that bad as the sibling try to figure out who is the mystery werewolf is that started this whole problem. The personal problems that keep getting in the way provides the comedy on the side to balance the sleuthing.

There are quite a few surprises packed in along with a few laughs. A cameo by Scott Baio (yee gads!) both playing himself and mocking himself made me chuckle and the role of the jock is also thrown for a hilarious loop. One actor that was eerily familiar looking and sounding, but who I just could not put my finger on turned out to be Michael Rosenbaum sans his Lex Luthor/Smallville bald head. That hair just threw me off.

The ratings and reviews for this movie range from tame at best to downright scathing but I think part of the problem is that some viewers were expecting a more dramatic horror coming from Craven. But as a light hearted movie it works and has a lot going for it.

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