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Cursed

Year: 2005
Studio: Dimension Films
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Cast: Christine Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Judy Greer, Nick Offerman, Scott Baio, Portia de Rossi, Shannon Elizabeth

As part of my continuing (and fairly masochistic) pursuit of the werewolf movie canon I duly put this Wes Craven effort from the mid 2000s on my list, a little bit excited because it's Wes Craven but bracing for disappointment just as much because, you know, it's another werewolf movie, the monster that's portrayed on screen with a more consistent lack of quality than any other.

It stars Christina Ricci and a pre-fame Jesse Eisenberg (not long after he first appeared on the scene in Rodger Dodger) as Los Angeles siblings Jimmy and Ellie. She's a successful TV producer with a cute boyfriend in Jake (Joshua Jackson), he's a student, and after they come across a car crash in the Hollywood Hills with the terrified victim (Shannon Elizabeth) still inside, they're attacked by a powerful beast that drags the driver away, bites Jimmy and Ellie and marks them with the werewolf curse.

Where the successful werewolf movies seem to include a thematic element (puberty for Ginger Snaps and An American Werewolf in London, redneck survivalists for The Howling), Cursed is little more than a pop culture-aware murder mystery as the brother and sister have to track the beast down to break the curse before it kills them and everyone around them.

It has a few flashes of charm but it's clumsily written and performed (with Eisenberg particularly amateur, not quite comfortable in the twitchy, nervy shtick we know him for today ten years later).

The story's all over the place, and like many fantasy-based films (let alone horror) of the time, there's way too much CGI. Coming from the then-dream team of Craven directing and uber horror-writer Kevin Williamson scripting, you'd think it would have made more of a splash at the time, but the end result is enough to reveal why it didn't.

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