Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Cursed - Unrated Version

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Christina Ricci as Ellie
Jesse Eisenberg as Jimmy
Judy Greer as Joanie
Joshua Jackson as Jake
Portia de Rossi as Zela
Mya as Jenny
Shannon Elizabeth as Becky
Solar as Zipper
Daniel Edward Mora as Jose
Kristina Anapau as Brooke
Milo Ventimiglia as Bo
Jonny Acker as Earl
Eric Ladin as Louie
Derek Mears as Werewolf
Nick Offerman as Officer
Michael Rosenbaum as Kyle
Scott Baio as Himself
Craig Kilborn as Himself
Emilie Odeile as Co-Worker
Egan Friedlander as Bouncer
Lance Bass as Himself

Special Features:
Commentary by Effects Makeup supervisor and actor Derek Mears on four selected scenes

Unrated edition with two additional minutes of footage

Behind the scenes featurette

"The Cursed Effects" featurette

"Creature Editing 101" featurette

"Becoming a Werewolf" featurette

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 99 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Packed with even more intense thrills than audiences experienced in theaters, this unrated version of Wes Craven's Cursed brings you the terror of werewolves as never before! Christina Ricci (Monster), Jesse Eisenberg (The Village), Joshua Jackson (TV's Dawson's Creek), Judy Greer (The Village), and Milo Ventimiglia (TV's Gilmore Girls) find themselves caught up in an unimaginable horror! A werewolf loose in Los Angeles changes the lives of three young adults who, after being mauled by the beast, learn that the only way to break the curse put upon them is to kill the one who started it all! From the creators of Scream, this never-before-seen version is shockingly more frightening and undeniably more fun than the original release!"

This version of Cursed is unrated, but it was originally rated PG-13 for horror violence/terror, some sexual references, nudity, language and a brief drug reference.

The Movie:
I'm not a big fan of horror movies, so I was kind of dreading watching Cursed. I'm not into gore or scares. However, I was quite surprised to find that I enjoyed Cursed. It ended up being much more of a classic monster movie than a slasher flick. It took your classic werewolf flick and added a few twists to it. With CG effects, a modern LA setting, and a good cast, Cursed ends up being an updated entry into the werewolf movie genre.

I never saw the theatrical version of this movie, so I can't compare it to the unrated version. However, it's a safe bet that this edition has more gore and blood than the PG-13 version. That being said, it's still relatively tame compared to many horror movies. It relies on scares from the monster jumping out at people more than anything else. But a good portion of the plot centers around the mystery of who the werewolf really is. There are enough supporting cast members that you're never really quite sure who it is, so it keeps you guessing. As the mystery unfolds, Cursed also seems to borrow from other werewolf movies like An American Werewolf In London and even Teen Wolf. As Jimmy develops his new powers, he turns the tables on the bullies at school who picked on him. (He has the tables turned on him again, too, but I don't want to spoil the surprise.) It's sometimes hard to tell whether they are doing a parody of those films or a tribute, but it's still entertaining.

Cursed has a strong cast. Christina Ricci is fun to watch as Ellie. She goes from business woman to vamp in believably short order. Ricci has proven that she can be creepy and she does so here again. Jesse Eisenberg is a bit annoying as Jimmy, but his character is supposed to be a geek. He handles that role well. Joshua Jackson is also good as Jake, the brooding love interest of Ellie. But is he the hero or villain? As for the rest of the cast, there are a lot of fun cameos. You have Portia de Rossi as Zela, Mya as Jenny, Michael Rosenbaum as Kyle, and Shannon Elizabeth as Becky. You even have Scott Baio and Lance Bass playing themselves. I was really surprised to see Baio allow himself to be made fun of in the movie.

The effects in Cursed are decent. They use a mix of practical effects and CG in a variety of ways. The computer animation allows them to do everything from cutting people in half to creating a fully body werewolf. The werewolf effects weren't always convincing, but they got the job done.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on the DVD. Here are the highlights:

Commentary by Effects Makeup supervisor and actor Derek Mears on four selected scenes Rather than providing commentary for the whole movie, the effects guy and the werewolf actor provide commentary for four key scenes the initial car wreck, the battle at Tinsel, the battle at the parking garage, and the final fight. The guys talk about filming, point out what was cut for the PG-13 version, and more.

Behind the scenes featurette This is your standard "making of" documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and other such goodness.

"The Cursed Effects" featurette This feature highlights the effects in the movie. They cover everything from the werewolf costume to the computer animation. It's kind of interesting to see how they went about transforming people into werewolves and cutting people in half.

"Creature Editing 101" featurette This details how they edited the movie and how they had to change it for the PG-13 rating.

"Becoming a Werewolf" featurette You might think this featurette details how they use prosthetic makeup in the movie, but that's not the case. Directed and hosted by Jesse Eisenberg, it initially makes you think that's what it will be about, but it quickly changes to a gag video featuring the guys clowning around pretending to try and catch a werewolf. It also stars the lead makeup guy and features a cameo by Wes Craven.

The Bottom Line:
I think fans of Cristina Ricci or fans of classic monster movies will be pleased with Cursed. It might be too tame for many horror fans, but it's an otherwise entertaining movie.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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