I love a good werewolf story. Remus Lupin is one of my favorites in the Harry Potter books, and I adore Alcide in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series. (I can't wait to see the werewolves on True Blood on HBO . . . but I digress.) I've written a few werewolf stories myself. I was eager to see Cursed, my latest Netflix selection.
I liked this campy salute to the werewolf genre, written by Kevin Williamson and directed by horror vet Wes Craven.
The plot (may contain spoilers) revolves around Ellie, a producer for a late-night talk show in Hollywood. After her parents died, she's taken in her teenage brother Jimmy. Jimmy's a sweet kid, slightly nerdy. He has a crush on Brooke, a classmate who works at a wax museum. Brooke is, unfortunately, dating Bo, the captain of the wrestling team. Bo loves to make gay jokes about Jimmy.
One night, as Ellie and Jimmy are driving home along a lonely stretch of Mulholland Drive, their car hits an animal, and then runs another car off the road. The woman in the other car, Becky, is trapped. Ellie and Jimmy try to rescue her, but the enormous animal carries Becky off and devours her. It also attacks Ellie and Jimmy. Jimmy thinks it may have been a werewolf.
After that night, strange things begin to happen to the siblings. They crave blood and have strange marks on their hands. They feel more alert and stronger. Jimmy challenges Bo to a wrestling competiton, and wins. And, as Becky's friend Jenny is killed by a mysterious beast, Ellie begins to suspect that there is a werewolf-- and that her boyfriend Jake, who knew both women-- has something to do with it.
As Ellie is confronting Jake, Bo is confessing to Jimmy that his homophobic aggression has been covering up the fact that Bo is gay, and powerfully attracted to Jimmy. (Werewolves have an unusual sexual allure, according to this film.) But soon Jimmy and Bo must run away from the family golden retriever, who has become a weredog after biting Jimmy. Naturally, they run to Jake's movie-themed club, where Jimmy, Ellie and Bo become trapped with the angry werewolf.
Several of your typical horror movie conventions apply, including a bit of misdirection. But this movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and is actually quite funny.
Perhaps best of all, Ellie is played by Christina Ricci. If you only remember her as the child actor from the Addams Family films, then you have to see her now. Ricci has a gift for both comedy and drama-- and, not to mention, a fabulous body. ( I recommend both Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow and her indie film Pumpkin). Hard to tell who I like better in this, Ricci as Ellie or Heroes cast member Milo Ventimiglia as Bo. If you're into the whole boy-boy thing, then the moment Bo goes to kiss Jimmy is kinda hot.
Either way, Cursed is definitely blessed with tons of furry fun.