Film Reviews

Cursed, or: Long Live the ’90s

The Film:


Where to Watch:

Netflix, Amazon Prime

The Premise:

Siblings must contend with a werewolf curse in LA while surrounded by 1990s pop culture references.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

Our movie opens with a Bowling for Soup cover of that uncomfortable song about Little Red Riding Hood (also memorably covered by Joey Fatone).

Abruptly, we cut to the gypsy prediction of doom present in basically every werewolf movie. Because it’s Wes Craven, the girls who receive the gypsy’s dire warning call bullshit: “You can’t tell people this shit.”

Then we meet our protagonists, Jesse Eisenberg (playing a bullied nerd [duh]) and his older sister, played by Christina Ricci (CR). The two live alone since their parents died (killed by werewolves???). CR is dating a guy who is opening a wax museum that also features a number of horror movie artifacts (because it’s LA, and that’s what you do in LA). Her night out is cut short when JE (for Jesse Eisenberg, not Jane Eyre) calls and asks her to pick him up. As they drive home, they’re involved in a terrible crash with an animal and one of the girls who is supposedly cursed.

CR attempts to help the girl trapped inside her car, but the animal returns, attacking and dragging her away. JE is convinced the animal was a werewolf, but CR remains skeptical. In a scene that appears almost identically in Twilight, JE researches werewolves by looking at a bunch of shitty GeoCities pages. Or, you know, so I’ve heard. From a friend who’s seen all of the Twilight movies.

a simple webpage about werewolves shows a stock photo of a wolf next to werewolf clip art
Facebook was really started so Mark Zuckerberg could determine whether or not you’re a werewolf.

Meanwhile, Christina Ricci hears creepy noises in the house. When she goes downstairs to investigate, her boyfriend shows up. She bites him, and suddenly wakes up. Although the entire sequence was a dream, we still learn not to trust the boyfriend (it’s a Wes Craven movie, after all). Don’t trust a bro, Christina Ricci.

At work the next day, one of CR’s co-workers can’t help noticing she seems a little different today. (Also don’t trust any dude who finds you attractive. It’s all a lie. He just wants to tear your face to shreds.)

Judy Greer is CR’s boss, playing essentially the same character as in 13 Going on 30, aka backstabbing bitch. Apparently Judy Greer used to date CR’s boyfriend. CR and her boyfriend have a serious talk, in which he claims that what they have is special and he doesn’t want to lose her. SERIOUSLY, don’t trust this dude. Their conversation is cut short when CR notices it’s a full mooooooooooon and excuses herself.

Moments later, the other girl who received a warning from the gypsy is attacked by THE WOLF. She does a reasonably good job at hiding: taking off her high heels, making sure the wolf can’t see her feet when she hides behind a car. And then she decides hiding in the elevator will end well, so she’s doomed.

a werewolf lunges at the open window of a house

The next day at work, CR begins transforming in the bathroom. She manages to avoid killing one of her co-workers (which would be an impressive feat even on a good day).

JE is undergoing some transformations of his own. When he shows up at school, he has “cool” ‘90s hair and stands up to one of the homophobic bullies. He then wrestles his bullies, thereby impressing his crush, Brooke.

a teenage boy with spiky gelled hair faces another person while pouting slightly
I understand that the ‘90s were your golden age, Wes Craven. But they’re over.

After JE returns home, the homophobic bully arrives at his house and professes his love for JE (of course). At this point, JE realizes that his DOG is a werewolf, so he and the bully have to make a quick escape. The two head to the opening of the wax museum to find CR.

Just before the opening, CR has a creepy confrontation with her boyfriend. He’s THE WOLF (duh). However, he reveals there’s another werewolf that has been killing people. He was born with the curse and has learned to control it, but the new wolf hasn’t. CR doesn’t trust him at all. Thank god.

At the opening, THERE’S A CAMEO BY LANCE BASS. There’s also a cameo by Pinhead, which is pretty spectacular.

a man smiles on the red carpet amidst many paparazzi

Of course a werewolf attack disrupts the party, leaving CR and JE trapped in the wax museum with the wolf. Pretty sure the wolf hides behind a wax model of Dustin Hoffman from Tootsie at one point.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, the wolf turns out to be CR’s bitchy boss, Judy Greer. So there’s this extended fight scene in which CR and JE fight her werewolf boss. Then CR’s boyfriend shows up and helps them. THEN the police show up and shoot her.

a bear-like creature with large teeth faces a mirror
So she’s not so much a werewolf as Smokey the Bear on steroids.

After all this, CR and JE’s lives return back to normal. …OR DO THEY?

On the next full moon, both siblings begin to TRANSFORM. CR’s ex(I presume)-boyfriend arrives at the house, telling her that she needs him to help her through the transition. He doesn’t mention that he plans to kill her brother because there’s only room for one alpha male. We get another lengthy fight scene that ends with CR killing and decapitating her ex, whose body bursts into flames and disappears.

Finally, JE’s crush, Brooke, and his former bully arrive at the house. JE and Brooke make out, which causes a lot of embarrassment for all witnesses.

The Critique:

I love Scream, so this film is pretty disappointing. Apparently Wes Craven was contractually obligated to direct this movie, so it makes a bit more sense that it’s incredibly bland and generic. I still wish there had been some kind of major twist as there usually is with the Scream series. Or that the “curse” had been someone’s period a la Ginger Snaps.

Biggest takeaways here (as with all Wes Craven films): 1. The ‘90s were truly the golden age of civilization. 2. Don’t trust a bro. Please.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 2/5 Pink Panther heads

Just not a particularly memorable film.  It could’ve been worse, but it could’ve been so much better too.