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‘Cursed’: The title says it all

You don’t get a lot of relationship-driven werewolf movies, and “Cursed” could very well kill off the possibility of it becoming a major subgenre. Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg play an L.A. brother and sister who tangle with a mysterious beast after a car accident off Mulholland Drive and deal with some nasty aftereffects.

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, collaborators on the “Scream” movies, endured a troubled production, with “Cursed” shutting down for reshoots, rewrites and recasting. The result is not a successful merger of sensibilities.

“Cursed” outdoes recent releases such as “Boogeyman” in the fright department, but the “Dawson’s Creek” sensitivity and unsatisfying effects undermine the lupine anxiety. Transformations by makeup effects guru Rick Baker aren’t as convincing as those he did for the 1981 film “An American Werewolf in London,” and the beast’s CGI movements are as phony as those of “The Hulk” and “Van Helsing.”

The characters talk constantly about enhanced allure and appetite, but the film -- first rated R but trimmed to PG-13 -- feels pulled back from the directions it obviously wants to go in terms of sexuality.

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“Cursed,” PG-13 for horror violence/terror, some sexual references, nudity, language and a brief drug reference. Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes. In general release.


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