We Need To Talk About ; Cursed
Welcome to ‘We Need To Talk About’ A regular feature that will explore current burning topics in the world of horror that really need to be explored and discussed. Let’s get to it ; We need to talk about ; Cursed.
Rick Baker Godfather of special effects who won the very first oscar for make up effects for his incredible work on An American Werewolf in London, recently tweeted an interesting photo. The photo in question showed the fantastic Werewolf make up treatment that he did for Wes Craven’s 2005 film Cursed. And it was the first time anyone had seen his Werewolf designs for the film, as his make up never reached the screen, see below ;
Baker’s tweet served to stir what is a deep oft aching pain in me; the horrifying disappointment that was Cursed. The film defied all positive expectations, destroyed hopes of finding a new cult horror to worship and made many sadly lose hope in the absolute Horror god that is Wes Craven. So what exactly happened? How did it all go so horribly wrong? Was the studio truly the only one to blame? TheHorrorOnline investigates..
Cursed’s deeply unfortunate moniker proved to be true, as the finished film was so blighted by utter disaster, that one has to question if the whole production was in fact cursed..Are they certain that the film studio they shot at wasn’t built over an old burial ground? Just asking.. Before it’s release the hype surrounding Cursed was stratospheric, the film would reunite the dream team of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson who changed the face of modern horror with their phenomenal film ; Scream. And when details were released that the film would be from the Werewolf genre with creature designs by the very creator of filmic werewolves Rick Baker, the excitement surrounding it’s release soared sky high. Well we all should have packed parachutes..
Before I discuss the awful critical reception that the film received I would like to highlight the lives that were personally effected by this tragedy of film, mainly mine, my life was effected. What follows is a brief glimpse into the thoughts that filled my mind as I viewed Cursed in 2005 having waited for it with great excitement..
“No don’t do this, don’t equate the Lupine curse to an STI, please don’t say that one werewolf passed on his werewolfness through unprotected sex, Oh God now I’m imagining werewolf sex,no please stop. Make Pacey from Dawson’s Creek leave, maybe if he leaves everything will be ok. Oh no, the true villain is being revealed as a vengeful hysterical woman, never mind nothing will ever be ok again. Ok end now, please end, why aren’t you ending? OH GOD PLEASE ALLOW THE MADNESS TO STOP, I don’t deserve this! I bought Scream on VHS,DVD and The 10 year Anniversary edition!! Craven why are you allowing this to happen to me??”
After that I blacked out and woke up in the fetal position sobbing, it was almost two years before I could watch another werewolf film.. #neverforget..
Upon it’s release the film was slated as being a complete mess and it seems from reports that Dimension Films the studio that released the film was to blame. Apparently the studio caused the film to be delayed for over a year, as they were unhappy with the ‘tone’ of the script. The film was shut down while the production executives, producers and studio bosses bickered..I’m guessing that Wes Craven stayed the hell out of it while he enjoyed a nice Brandy,as he had been battling censors since Last House On The Left. When production resumed, the script had been rewritten (not by Williamson) Almost all of the principal cast (who had already shot their scenes) had been replaced and Rick Baker’s werewolf had been scrapped and replaced by something worse than a joke shop mask, also Craven has said that the studio also hired some no name to go out and shoot new scenes.. And why did the studio take such nefarious actions? Because, apparently they wanted a PG13 film. Williamson’s dialogue was ‘Too mature’ and Baker’s Werewolf was ‘Too scary’. Forgive me for asking this Dimension Films you absolute idiots but aren’t HORROR films supposed to be scary and mature? And so the disowning began ;
Rick Baker was certainly not complimented by the fact that the studio binned all of his creations (after massacring a few of them) but then still gave him credit for the sorry awful mess of a werewolf that they put on camera. Wes Craven had a tough Summer 2006 at various conventions where heart broken fans demanded to know why he had failed them. And Kevin Williamson..well he created Dawson’s Creek so I can only presume that he merrily exclaimed ‘Haters gonna hate’ and sipped his tea.
Let us end our discussion of this awful,awful film with a quote from Wes Craven taken from an interview he gave to About Entertainment’s Rebecca Murray in 2006 ;
“I try and say less and less about it as the days go by but after we turned it in, the studio did its own cut and actually had some other director go out and shoot some stuff on video just for the hell of it and cut that into it too. I felt violated and Im in therapy right now (laughing). Im not working with the Weinsteins right now.”
There you have it folks, Craven never failed us he just fell foul to the evils of studio bosses (again). Now Let us all now move on from this travesty and try and remember that sometimes bad things happen to good directors.