Like all fans of horror, I loved Wes Craven’s post modern slasher franchise Scream. Say what you will about parts 3 and 4, the first two installments were a treat for movie geeks and brought the genre back from DTV oblivion.
The third part lacked Kevin Williamson’s script and whilst elements of the recent Scre4m showed some promise, the franchise is past its prime even with a Williamson script. It was widely known that Williamson was not happy with the studio’s last minute changes, and constant re-writes lead to the jumbled end product.
Prior to the 4th installment in the Scream series, director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Willamson re-teamed for werewolf comedy horror Cursed. I had seen half this movie on TV, granted it was the first half but I liked enough of what I saw to pick a copy up and leave it still sealed on a shelf for the best part of 5 years.
Starring Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg and Joshua Jackson, throw in plenty of knowing reference to the genre, a few cameos and you should have a enjoyable comic horror made by a master of the genre, think again.
For a comedy/horror Cursed manages to be unfunny and the ‘horror’ is so diluted it doesn’t even manage one jump or a single ‘ewwwww’ moment. I wasn’t a fan of Dawson’s Creek and a few appearances in the likes of Urban Legends, Scream 2 and Cruel Intentions barely made me take note of Joshua Jackson, that said I am a huge fan of the mighty Fringe and Jackson is terrific as Peter Bishop.
Ricci is an odd casting choice, she’s a good actress but she often appears in films that hold little interest for me. She does the best she can with the material, but the script simply falls flat and Craven phones in his directing duties.
The werewolf genre is tricky, classics like An American Werewolf in London come along once in a blue (full) moon and the TV version of Teen Wolf is a name only spin off. Underworld, The Howling, The Wolfman and Twilight all feature our lycan friends but at best these films are passable. Twilight aside, as it’s simply a glorified Mills and Boon novel, sorry Mills and Boon fans that was a cheap shot.
Cursed should have been a success, it had the talent behind and in-front of the camera to make it every bit as good as Scream, but sadly it lacks bite and it’s such a missed opportunity.
For me the best werewolf themed movie/TV currently on offer is BBC Three’s Being Human, so if you need a fix pick up the series 1-4 box set and book two days off work.