Cursed (2005) (PG-13) ★½

Review Date: March 2nd, 2005

From Scream's director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson comes Cursed, a pretty lame story about siblings who have a run-in with a werewolf and must soon deal with some weird lunar effects.


While driving on a moonlit canyon road, Los Angelenos Ellie (Christina Ricci) and her teenage brother Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg) are attacked by some kind of giant wolf. They escape with their lives but are somehow altered by the accident. Boy, are they ever. The career-driven Ellie and scrawny Jimmy suddenly find themselves with super strength and dexterity, an undeniable sexual allure to those around them, and heighten senses. They can smell human blood--everywhere. Uh oh. Think it's time to get out the sterling silver and melt them down into bullets. Of course, Ellie and Jimmy can't deny the changes happening to them and soon find out that their werewolf encounter wasn't necessarily all that random. Still, they aren't too keen on feeling the effects as their bodies painfully morph into flesh-ripping werewolves. They decide they have to solve the mystery and break the curse before it completely consumes them. Oh, c'mon, what's a little curse among friends?


Just like the Scream series, Cursed is at least bolstered by a young, hip cast, even if most of them are wasted. Eisenberg (Roger Dodger) has the most fun as the geeky teenager who sort of likes his newfound powers. With his hair all mussed up and sexy, Jimmy goes from a nobody in high school and to a hot-ticket item. Apparently, if you didn't know this, the whole burgeoning werewolf-sexual-attraction thing revolves around changing your hairstyle. While Ellie lets hers down, Ricci is unfortunately a bit stiff as the supposedly tempting, soon-to-be she-wolf. It's as if the actress knows how weak the script is. Joshua Jackson (so charismatic as Pacey from TV's Dawson's Creek), too, seems to be going through the motions as Ellie's mysterious new boyfriend with a deep secret (clue: his hair is perfect). Judy Greer (13 Going on 30), however, nearly steals the show, chewing up the scenery--literally and figuratively--as a snide public relations agent with a mean jealous streak.


Movies about werewolves, on a whole, are pretty damn cool. It's all about how the person gets ''infected'' and slowly transforms from human to werewolf. Of course, there's the original classic The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney Jr., and then the contemporary ones, including An American Werewolf in London and The Howling (we don't count the tepid Wolf). Even Underworld's look at the ongoing feud between werewolves and vampires is, at the very least, an original idea. So one would think an updated werewolf story would be right up the alley of horror master Wes Craven and his Scream partner Kevin Williamson. It's not. Cursed's main problem is the jejune and derivative script. Wannabe hipster Williamson, who also created the terminally chic Dawson's Creek, tries to infuse the film with his usual twisty, aren't-I-great-at-writing-cool-teen-speak? style. But this time around, it only falls flat. Craven makes up for it a little with well-placed scare tactics and slick special effects, but Cursed can't quite measure up to its werewolf predecessors.

Bottom Line

Cursed wants to be scary, irreverent fun, but it unfortunately makes a rather puerile attempt at paying homage to one of the more classic movie monsters.