I didn’t see Cursed when it was coming out originally. I didn’t really see much of the promotional campaign but what I did see looked so generic that I felt like it wasn’t worth going to see. I know that the director and writer were key parts of the campaign. I eventually caught part of it on tv one Sunday and enjoyed what I saw. After that I discovered that not only was Cursed not well received upon release, but it suffered a lot of behind-the-scenes issues. Those issues seem to be the source of less well received parts of the movie. It was all done almost in spite of both writer and director.
Cursed was directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. This movie has a skeleton of a good movie. What ended up on screen was a messy but fun movie. Between rewrites of the script and extensive reshoots Craven had a lot to deal with. That’s not even mentioning the interference from the producers, which I will talk about later. There’s so much in the movie that lets you know that Cursed could have been so much more than what it was.
Part of that is with the cast. The cast of Cursed is an incredibly weird snapshot of the time with people on the rise and some that had been there for a while. It stars Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, Jesse Eisenberg, Judy Greer, Shannon Elizabeth, Mya, Portia de Rossi, Michael Rosenbaum, and Milo Ventimiglia. This was shortly before Jackson’s role on Fringe. This was also before Eisenberg hit it big. After watching this movie, I really wish that both Joshua Jackson and Judy Greer got to have villainous turns more often. Greer has never looked better than when she was carrying a sword in that purple dress. There’s just something about an actor carrying a weapon in a horror movie that makes them look incredibly badass. Jackson really only gets to play the bad guy at the end of the movie but there are hints throughout.
A lot of the interference that I mentioned previously has to do with the werewolf effects. First Rick Baker was hired but had to leave after the reshoots started. KNB came on board after that, which led to a fun cameo by Greg Nicotero. A lot of what they did with gore effects was cut so the movie could have a PG-13 rating rather than R. There was also a shift to CG for the effects that haven’t aged well. The practical effects that ended up in the movie have one of my favorite scenes from any werewolf movie, when the werewolf flips off the leads. Marco Beltrami did the music for the movie, reuniting him with both Craven and Williamson.
Cursed is a messy fun werewolf movie that was marred by behind-the-scenes interference. There’s a cut of the movie floating around that’s the R rated but it hasn’t been officially discovered and released. Scream Factory is supposed to be releasing the movie with a 4K transfer but weren’t able to get the footage that was shot originally. That’s supposed to release in May. Cursed is currently streaming on HBO Max until the end of April. I give Cursed 7.5 silver cake server out of 10.