Cursed

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film begins in Hollywood Los Angeles, when two friends, Jenny Tate and Becky Morton, are at a pier and decide to get their fortune told by Zela, asking about a boy. Zela foretells that they will suffer a horrible fate, but they don’t believe her and walk away laughing. A little while later, Becky realizes Jenny has disappeared and can’t find her on the pier.

On that same night, teenager Jimmy Myers is picked up on Hollywood Blvd by his sister Ellie, who just came back from visiting her boyfriend Jake Taylor. Jimmy had a run in with some bullies and his crush Brooke. On their way home, Jimmy and Ellie hit an animal and another car. They attempt to rescue the other driver, Becky Morton, but she is suddenly dragged and ripped in half by an unseen creature. Jimmy and Ellie are both slashed by the creature’s claws, but make it out alive. When interviewed by police, despite Jimmy’s belief that it was a wolf or dog type animal, the official report credits it to a bear or cougar.

Once they get home, Jimmy does research about wolves in California and starts to believe that the creature was a werewolf, and the next morning, nonchalantly tells Ellie, much to her disbelief. Jimmy and Ellie start to exhibit strange tendencies; while working at the news set, Ellie is attracted to the smell of blood, from a co-anchor but Ellie denies it, apparently proving her point by touching a silver picture frame and not getting burned. Jimmy becomes much stronger and more aggressive, as exampled when a bully named Bo forces him to join the wrestling team. He easily defeats three wrestlers, including Bo, and calls Bo out for constantly making gay jokes towards him, saying that Bo himself is repressing his own homosexuality.

Meanwhile, at a party, Jenny runs into Jake, implying that he is the boy that was mentioned at the beginning of the film. She also runs into Joanie, Ellie’s publicist, who takes note of Jake Taylor. Jenny leaves the party after an awkward encounter, and Jake and Joanie leave as the full moon rises. Jenny is torn apart in a parking garage by a wolf-like creature. Zela’s prediction for Jenny and Becky comes true.

Eventually, Ellie starts to believe the werewolf idea when she sees Zela at the news station and she warns about the coming full moon, and Jimmy proves it when he holds a silver cake server and gets burned (he then discovers that the picture frame Ellie touched was actually stainless steel). Their dog bites Jimmy, tasting his blood and becomes a werewolf type monster and goes on a rampage. Realizing what’s happening, he goes to warn Ellie with the help of Bo, who shows up at their house to confess that he is gay and has feelings for Jimmy which Jimmy says is because of the curse. Bo and Jimmy race to where Ellie is.

In the meantime she figures out that Jake is a werewolf. He confirms it, but claims it wasn’t him that attacked her and Jimmy. Another werewolf attacks, seemingly proving his story. Bo and Jimmy try to help, but Bo is knocked out. The new werewolf is revealed to be Joanie, who had a one-night stand with Jake and became a werewolf (with proof of a pentagram on her right hand). She wants revenge by killing all of the other girls he dates. He refuses to let her hurt Ellie, and she knocks him out. Joanie soon turns into a werewolf and starts attacking. Ellie and Jimmy fight her, and she finally runs and hides when the police arrive. The two draw her out by insulting her, which she (in werewolf form) gives them the finger. The police open fire, apparently killing her. What they don’t know is that the only way to kill a werewolf is to separate the brain from the heart. As she rises again, a cop shoots her in the head, finally killing her. Bo is okay, but Jake has disappeared.

Jimmy and Ellie return to a wrecked home. As Jimmy goes to try to fix the power, Jake arrives. He reveals that he did in fact bite Ellie and Jimmy, and he wants Ellie to live forever by his side after he kills Jimmy. She refuses, and the two fight it out, but her werewolf side only emerges and disappears at small intervals, while he has complete control over his werewolf side and dominates the fight. Jimmy joins in, climbing across the ceiling and biting Jake, distracting him long enough for Ellie to stab him with the silver cake server, badly injuring him. Ellie decapitates Jake with a shovel and breaking the curse on her, Jimmy and their dog. They watch as Jake’s body starts to burn with fire and eventually only leaving the silver cake server. Brooke shows up with their dog, having learned where they live from Bo, who also shows up. Bo and Jimmy are now friends; Jimmy kisses Brooke and walks her home along with Bo. Ellie goes to clean up the mess that is their house

REVIEW:

So, the new trailer from Batman vs. Superman just was released (or leaked) on-line from San Diego Comic-Con. The first thing I was asked when it surfaced wasn’t what I thought about it, but rather how much flack I’m going to give it for having Jesse Eisenberg. Many have wondered where my hate for that rat-faced, no talent hack came from and, to be honest, I don’t know where it started, but I would have to say Cursed would be a good place to start.

What is this about?

An estranged brother and sister must deal with the recent loss of their parents. But heaping more misery into their lives is a life-altering attack one dark night by a vicious werewolf.

What did I like?

Mythology. Everyone knows that basics about werewolves, get bit and you’re cursed to become a werewolf every full moon. What this film does is delve a bit further into the various versions of the mythology, such as heightened senses, sexual attraction, taste for blood, etc. The relationship with canines is even hinted at during one scene, which is nice since almost every other werewolf appearance in media from The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney up to True Blood (I believe that is the latest werewolf appearance) has given us pieces to go on but, as with vampires, it’s all bunch of this and that with no one agreeing on anything except how you become one.

Sister. Christina Ricci, forever doomed to play a sister, it seems. She can’t complain about it this time, though. She was age appropriate and does a decent job with the material she’s given. Ricci is a strong woman taking care of herself and her teenage little brother, while working for the Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Not to mention, she has to deal with this werewolf stuff. I think she holds up pretty well. She even gets into a couple of fights, one with Judy Greer and the other with her boyfriend, Joshua Jackson, and holds her own. Maybe we should start looking at her for a role in a comic book movie.

Dirty dog. Werewolves aren’t limited to just people changing. It would appear that dogs can be afflicted by the curse, too. Dogs are already vicious killers, if you ask me, and giving the heightened powers of a werewolf? Yikes! Kudos to the film for basically make the family dog Cujo, though I wish they would have done more with him than just attack a car. We didn’t even really get a good look at his transformed state. Still, I’m sure some were freaked out by the notion of their dog turning on them.

What didn’t I like?

Use your gypsy. In the original Wolfman tale, the gypsy woman is a very important character. Judging by how many references there are to other werewolf movies and such, one could assume that the gypsy woman would at least be more than a cameo at the beginning of the film, but nope. Instead, she shows up one more time and that’s it. WTF?!? Use this woman to explain stuff! It would have been better and more accurate than dealing with Eisenberg’s half-ass research!

Luthor you ain’t! Alright, you knew this was coming. Eisenberg is a huge negative for this film. His character is the same annoying character he plays in every film. The nerdy, stammering guy who somehow becomes cool and gets the girl without any change, but rather deception. For the love of all this is holy, he better not have Lex Luthor follow this pattern. Well, the deception is allowed. As far as this film goes, I just didn’t buy him when he was trying to show off his enhanced strength and sexual magnetism. Going there is fine, but the actor needs to sell the change, and Eisenberg didn’t.

Werewolves, or lack thereof. In case  you haven’t figured out yet, this is a film about werewolves. Here’s the thing, though, we only see 1 wolf. There are maybe 4 werewolves in this film, but only one of them fully changes, Judy Greer. We see Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, and Eisenberg hint at changing. Ricci and Eisenberg show parts of their anatomy shifting, but nothing actually happens. For me, if I’m watching a modern werewolf flick, I expect to see some wolves. Instead, this was mostly a big cocktease. There may actually be less werewolves in here than in that Jack Nicholson werewolf movie, Wolf.

Cursed is one of those films that tries to do so much that it doesn’t do much of anything. It tries to give us a new werewolf flick while paying homage to its predecessors, but it just succeeds in getting bogged down in too much muck. The cast is decent and give alright performances, but this isn’t the greatest material to judge anyone on. All that said, and with the lack of werewolves, I still found myself enjoying this. It is head and shoulders above the crappy Wolfman that came out a few years back and way more believable than those Twilight wolves. So, do I recommend this? I guess it would be alright for a guilty pleasure viewing or to start a werewolf movie marathon.

3 out of 5 stars

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