Cursed is one of those fascinating cinema cases where the movie itself is, at best, pretty ordinary but the making of the film is the stuff of legend. Essentially starting life as a cash grab by the Weinstein’s by way of reteaming Scream’s Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, Cursed became a two year production crusade that saw the larger part of the film rewritten and reshot a couple of times and a revolving door of cast as characters were written, filmed, written out, and replaced by new characters. What landed in theaters in 2004 was an 80-million-dollar mishmash of versions that was, as a final indignity, cut down for a PG-13 just before release.
In its current state, the plot of Cursed is the tale of Ellie (Christina Ricci) and Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg), a pair of orphaned siblings who survive both a car wreck and then a werewolf attack at the start of the movie. As is common in werewolf movies, their bites from the attack start to cause changes in them both. Liberal use of news footage lets us know that the werewolf who attacked them is eating millennials all over Hollywood. Once Ellie and Jimmy put two and two together about what’s happening to them, they must team up to stop the werewolf and save themselves.
As the synopsis would suggest, the plot is standard werewolf fare. The movie is not bad by any means (except for some dodgy CGI) but it is plagued with too many vague characters and almost a disinterest in its own premise. I would bet that with each reshoot Cursed got more formula and more ‘by the numbers’ while at the same time becoming more disjointed. Again, it is not a bad film; there are some nice funny moments and good performances keep it a serviceable popcorn horror comedy.
Scream Factory apparently tried and was unable to get ahold of the other ‘mostly complete’ versions of Cursed. It’s too bad because it would have been nice to see what could have been. Included in this collector’s edition is the theatrical cut (I don’t know why either) and the Unrated cut (which restores two minutes of gore cut from theaters). The extras contain several ‘making of’s’ and interviews that do their best to shed light on the timeline of events and what the other versions were like. These extras are almost as intriguing as the movie itself. There’s also a reversable cover but it just the same art in red instead of blue which is very ‘okay, whatever’.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.