Cursed. Never before has a single production been so aptly named. For those unfamiliar with the film’s history – in a nutshell it was filmed once, scrapped, completely revised, filmed again, and then cut into a kid friendly PG-13 Scooby Doo spook fest. There’s no denying Wes Craven’s talent as a director. The man is brilliant. It was disappointing to say the least sitting through the sanitized theatrical version of Cursed. Enter the film’s shining moment, the unrated DVD.
The story is one we’ve all seen before in about 100 other werewolf movies. Werewolf gets hit by vehicle. Passenger(s) in said vehicle get out to investigate. Aforementioned passenger(s) get bitten or clawed. Cue werewolf mayhem. True, this storyline is kind of paint by numbers, but in Craven’s hands it can still turn out to be a fairly fun ride.
I’ve seen a ton of director’s cuts and unrated DVD’s. Most of them just add a few seconds here and there or maybe 15 more minutes of needless exposition. *cough* Underworld *cough* Make no mistake, this DVD was put together with one thing in mind: to give viewers what they have waited for, the gory goodness of a Wes Craven film! Rejoice, fans! It does just that!
It truly was good to see Cursed intact because what we got in theatres was just plain sensless. Some scenes were so badly cut it was near impossible to tell what was going on. There were literally geysers of blood excised from this film. Truth be told, I was kind of surprised by how much. Torn torsos, splattered brains, flayed flesh! Ahhh! It’s about time. There’s still one disappointment though; for whatever reason one of the film’s main killings takes place completely offscreen. I felt this was a strange move considering how graphic the rest of the film is. Maybe I’m just bloodthirsty.
Either way, this version of Cursed is much more cohesive and enjoyable.
The DVD extras are another spot in which this DVD shines. There is the standard behind the scenes stuff, but you also get a lot of valuable insight into what it takes to bring a werewolf to life nowadays. I simply cannot get enough of KNB Studios. Greg Nicotero and company are truly the masters of their game. The FX that they concoct and the passion that goes into each step of the process are nothing short of awe inspiring. I’m glad for them that fans can finally see what KNB had to offer with this film.
Will this version of Cursed have you howling for more? It just might. Let’s hope that one day the studios realize that cutting films to make them a bit more kid friendly doesn’t always equal a big payday at the box office. In the meantime, thank god for home video!
(Dimension Home Video)
Directed by Wes Craven
Starring Christina Ricci, Derek Mears, Jesse Eisenberg, and Joshua Jackson
Behind the Fangs: The Making of Cursed featurette
The Cursed Effects featurette
Creature Editing 101 featurette
Becoming a Werewolf featurette
Selected scenes with commentary
3 out of 5