Cursed: Uncensored Wes Craven

Though he rejuvenated his career in 1996 with what would become the successful and well-received Scream trilogy, Wes Craven has never been a filmmaker known for his integrity and consistency. Unfortunately, Cursed is not another Scream, or even a Scream 3. With a talented and rather likeable cast on paper, this foray into the werewolf genre could have been the hit Craven was looking for (after a five-year drought of not making any films). Instead, his second partnership with Kevin Williamson (author of all three Screams, as well as the creator of Dawson's Creek) is a mess. The story is based around a pair of siblings (played by Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg) who are attacked by a werewolf and quickly realise they've been cursed by the beast. The story is nothing original: they must find the original monster to undo their burden, yadda, yadda. Though Williamson tries to mix in comedic dialogue, a lot of it gets lost in its imitation of Scream's method of combining laughs with slashes. The DVD is presented as "uncensored," but whatever differences there are from the theatrical version are too subtle to notice without any guidance. Worst of all is the generally dependent Ricci, who gives a flat and uninspired performance that tarnishes her reputation. The "making of" is nothing but a vehicle for the cast and crew to lie through their teeth about how wonderful the film is (i.e., Joshua Jackson admitting it's "a post-modern horror film"). The featurette on the effects is simply more fluff about the god-awful CGI (most notably Zipper the dog, who might as well have been the digital Scooby-Doo) and the "brilliance" of the man in the practical wolf suit, Derek Mears. (Really, how hard is it to jump around like a wolf?) The mini-doc, "Becoming," hosted by Eisenberg, puts the final nail in the coffin, as the geeky and reliably annoying actor guides the viewer through the painful process of becoming the beast with the make-up artists. Plus: commentary with selected scenes, more. (Alliance Atlantis)