American Werewolves in Hollywood

Main Cast: Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Rosenbaum, Bambi Allen

Director: Wes Craven

This is a modern stab at the werewolf mythology, a minor film that doesn’t take itself very seriously. The focus is on two siblings: the older sister Ellie (Ricci) and the younger high-school student Jimmy (Eisenberg). Their parents are dead and Ellie is forced to act as a quasi-parent to her brother, which can be annoying sometimes for the both of them. One night when driving home something jumps across the road and causes them to crash into another car, sending it flying. A bit shaken, they find the driver alive and try to get her out of the cab. They almost manage to do so when she is suddenly yanked away and eaten by some type of animal. Both Ellie and Jimmy are injured, but escape. (As a side note, the driver and a friend were told by a psychic earlier in the evening that their hands were “blood, all blood” and they should “be very careful, as you are in danger”. They didn’t listen. One down! And one to go?)

After the injury strange things begin to happen to Jimmy. He does some research and believes that he was infected by a werewolf, and may be turning into one. Ellie doesn’t want to believe this, of course, even though similar changes were happening to her. Ellie’s boyfriend and owner of a new theme restaurant offers to comfort her, but his playboy attitude and seeming endless supply of ex-girlfriends puts Ellie off. Add in a rival of Jimmy’s at school and a harpy-like PR woman at Ellie’s work (who also happens to be one of her current boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends), mix them all together with the supernatural, and add a gala opening party, and we have plenty of excitement to go around!

I liked Cursed. It isn’t too deep, nor demanding of thought. The plot is brisk and keeps driving forward, although there is a “false ending” that goes on a bit too long. The acting is solid, especially Ricci as the leading lady. I am an unabashed fan of hers, I admit it. I think she brings a weight to all her roles, no matter how large or small; a sly, knowing intelligence coupled with her ageless beauty ensures that even in a horror film she can bring life to a sketchily-developed character.

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