Cursed (2005 film)

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Cursed
Cursed poster.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Kevin Williamson
Written by Kevin Williamson
Starring Christina Ricci
Joshua Jackson
Jesse Eisenberg
Judy Greer
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography Robert McLachlan
Edited by Patrick Lussier
Lisa Romaniw
Production
company
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • November 7, 2004 (2004-11-07) (AFM)
  • February 25, 2005 (2005-02-25) (United States)
Running time 97 minutes[1]
99 minutes (Unrated cut)
Country United States
Germany
Language English
Budget $38 million[2]
Box office $29,621,722[2]

Cursed is a 2005 American horror-comedy film directed by Wes Craven and written by screenwriter Kevin Williamson, who both collaborated on Scream. The film stars Golden Globe nominees Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg as the main sister-and-brother protagonists. The plot focuses on two young adults who are attacked by a werewolf loose in Los Angeles.

The film premiered on November 7, 2004 at the American Film Market and was released theatrically in 2005. It was filmed in Los Angeles, California, United States, with special effects shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Despite being a critical failure and a box office bomb, it gained a strong cult following among Wes Craven fans and later found more success on the unrated DVD.

Plot[edit]

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; Becky was driving.

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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was postponed for over a year due to production and script issues. Several cast members had to be replaced due to scheduling conflicts with other films. When production was stalled, many cast members were cut, including Skeet Ulrich, Mandy Moore, Omar Epps, Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Robert Forster, and Corey Feldman. Some of them even filmed scenes which were scrapped by director Wes Craven.

The set used for the high school is Torrance High School, the same used for Sunnydale High on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and West Beverly High on Beverly Hills, 90210 and its spin-off 90210. Filming also occurred at Verdugo Hills High School.[3]

In the film, Ellie is shown to be working for the crew of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn with Kilborn making a cameo appearance and Scott Baio appearing as himself being booked to appear on the show. By the time the film was released in February 2005, Kilborn had left the show and had been replaced with Craig Ferguson.

Release[edit]

In the United States, the film was originally to be released as an R-rated film with graphic violent scenes. However, the studio wished to have a more marketable PG-13 rating, and the film was edited and released as a PG-13 film. In Canada, the uncut version of the film was released theatrically and received a 14A in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario and a 14 in the Maritimes (after appeal) and a 13+ in Quebec. In British Columbia, the film was given an 18A and after an unsuccessful appeal,[4] the edited US version was submitted, 14A-rated, and released in British Columbia.

Home media[edit]

When released on DVD in the US on June 21, 2005, two versions were available: the original theatrical version (rated PG-13; 97 min.), and also an unrated version (99 min.) which contains the footage cut to obtain a PG-13 rating and runs approximately 2 minutes longer than the original release. The film received its Blu-ray release on September 11, 2012 in a double feature with another Wes Craven film They.

In Canada, Alliance Atlantis released the unrated (marketed as 'Uncensored') version only on DVD (as opposed to Dimension Home Video in the US) and the DVD cover was changed to match the original theatrical poster.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received largely negative reviews, earning a 17% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which concluded that "[a] predictable plot and cheesy special effects make Cursed a less-than-scary experience."[5] The San Francisco Chronicle reported: "Cursed is a third-rate effort, with a weak script, cheap-looking effects and no genuine frights."[6] Film Threat stated: "Not that it doesn't make movie history. Until this past Friday, the worst werewolf film ever made was, hairy hands down, Mike Nichols' Wolf. Cursed now assumes that dubious distinction and someone is going to have to try very hard to wrestle it away."[7]

Box office[edit]

Cursed opened theatrically on February 25, 2005, grossing $19,297,522 at the North American box office and $10,324,200 internationally for a total worldwide gross of $29,621,722 against a $38 million budget making the film a box office bomb.

References[edit]

External links[edit]