(2005) dir. Wes Craven
Wes Craven isn’t all that interesting of a director, despite having a rather mixed catalog of career highs and lows. His more notable work I haven’t re-seen in years and am now only more familiar with some of his more recent films. I think that he made his name with some reasonable horror titles, probably most prominently with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), which, like so many horror films, would probably seem even better if it hadn’t spawned a franchise of worse and worse versions. His later hits with his Scream series, in which he seemed to solidify his poppy, shallow understanding of a more post-modern horror film, degraded significantly as well. I don’t know if I would place him up there with John Carpenter or George A. Romero, who I do think actually made some excellent films.
Cursed is his latest venture in working with Kevin Williamson, with whom he worked on Scream (1996) and it’s sequels, and it’s a werewolf film with Christina Ricci, who I still have a soft spot for even though it seems that her best work is behind her. Based on what I’ve read, this film had a pretty rough time getting made and like a lot of bad films, had a hard time getting released as well.
Overall, it’s crap, but not terrible, terrible crap. It’s bad but enjoyable if you like these kind of things. There seems to be a little weird attempts at post-modernist commentary again, though Craven and Williamson don’t really approach it in a significant way, more like tips of the hat in a wax museum to more classic fare, and also this weird usage of Craig Kilborn and Scott Baio. Yes, Scott Baio. It’s like “Wow, is this the first movie that Scott Baio has made since Zapped! (1982) ?” Kilborn and Baio play themselves for some reason. It seems utterly superfluous to the film, kind of like some weird cameo guest spot you might see on a TV show or something.
I don’t want to give it all away, but I was thinking of the title of Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985) and was thinking how sweet would it be to have Cursed II: Scott Baio is a Werewolf. So, you can imagine my disappointment when he just disappeared from the narrative and didn’t turn out to be the granddaddy of the werewolves.