Cursed review: a bloody werewolf story built around terrible prejudices

You Have To Say This For Sean Ellis’ Horror Movie Cursed ones: It doesn’t take long to say it could be for bloodshed. The film has screened film festivals in 2021 with a more emotional name Eight for silver, English villagers in the 1880s fend off a series of deadly supernatural events, including a monster stalking their fields and forests. The things the monster does to its victims are ugly, and often done with visceral realistic effects designed to make all but the most veteran goblins feel nauseous. But the monster’s origins are much uglier, and more likely to unsettle audiences – sometimes in the exact same ways.

Nowadays, many indie horror works are created on such tight budgets that it’s really surprising to see Cursed ones looks, first in the opening sequence set on a World War I battlefield, then in a flashback that takes up most of the film, set 35 years earlier. When a group of Romani set up camp near an English settlement, wealthy nobleman Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) and his gang send a group of brutal, bloodthirsty thugs to slaughter them. The Romanians have a legitimate legal claim to the land that will rival its use by local elites, so simply forcing them to continue won’t do – Seamus and others plot to obliterate them, change the land records, and bury their tracks in the field where the camp used to be.

Soon, all the children in the area begin to dream of a strange scarecrow in that field and a mystical item buried there, and the children of Seamus, Charlotte (Amelia Crouch) and Edward (Max Mackintosh) joins the village children nervously. visit website. Events escalate, Edward disappears, and it becomes clear that something unusual is stalking the town. When pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) arrives, questioning the “gypsies” in the area, he patches recent events together and switches to the complete Wizarding, set-up mode. to fight the creature while keeping his own secret about what he knows.

Alistair Petrie in an extremely dark room in The Cursed, lit only by the candle he is holding

Photo: LDEntertainment

Cursed ones has its own mythology and some creepy, bloody innovation around what’s essentially a werewolf story, but Ellis gets a lot of her miles around standard horror story stuff. The freak features his creature. are not do. John doesn’t bother explaining the monster to Seamus and his pale, tender wife Isabelle (Kelly Reilly) in front of him – instead of piling on top of each other, he easily defeats or dodges most questions, in a way that both make him seem more mysterious. than the usual horror movie protagonist and a lot wiser. In particular, he seems to have a firm grasp of the politics of a small town and how men like Seamus react to events beyond their control. Ellis also doesn’t annoy the audience by spinning the “There’s no such thing as a werewolf” wheel, or by making the characters’ knowledge lag behind what the audience has seen. This leaves more time for the monster to tear people apart, in a series of memorable and impressive attacks.

Ellis’ eye as a cinematographer is the film’s greatest asset and where Cursed ones stand out in a crowded field of bloody genre exercises. His talent for creating rich images is crucial to the mood he is trying to establish. As John or Seamus nervously slip out of the manor’s protection at night, they appear to be dwarfed by the enormous weight of the pre-industrial darkness around them as if they were falling off a ship and down. sea. Scenes like the three brave laborers in an orchard shrouded in oppressive gloom following the first beast’s attack add sullen beauty to the ensuing chaos. And the long shot of the Romanian massacre propels the film beyond the more apathetic killers that have gathered on streaming services lately. There’s a sense of luxury to the set-up – the costumes and setting both have weight, and the cast brings compelling, compelling intensity to the material, but this is primarily a movie to watch in terms of visuals. Photo.

But Ellis is really stuck by too much repetition around terrifying nightmares and seemingly endless imaginary and real trips out to see that haunted scarecrow. Many characters visit the site so many times that it begins to feel more like a joke than a mysterious echo. That dark joke has a pretty good twist – there are so many scarecrows that they start to blur, and so does the line between reality and dream. But when a recurring image represents the horror that Seamus and his kind have visited in the world, it feels too general and too forced to have the impact Ellis seems to covet.

so many, so much Cursed ones have the same problem. The make-up here is all too familiar: those tedious nightmarish spoofs that frighten the viewer, and the waking moments, the children singing an eerie baby tune in immediate reference to current events. take place, the ability to gather generic CGI information overlaid the actual work more convincingly. Ellis continued to repeat other elements, with three people in a row disappearing from their beds in blood, and too many characters defying the dangers of the outdoors to do work that could reasonably be postponed until no more. there is a big monster.

Alistair Petrie and a group of other men with rifles hunt monsters through the dark forest in The Cursed

Photo: LDEntertainment

That last element comes from the obvious unethical current running through Cursed ones, about the sufferings of working-class life, and the disregard for wealth and power over anyone else’s life and humanity. The film is only fully preached on that topic once, at a time when John’s frustrations overwhelm his diplomatic abilities, and at the time, it feels welcome and overwhelming. term. But Cursed ones Return to this idea several times, as Ellis emphasizes how Seamus and his class oppress people in their power, and how people pay the price when a society allows greedy men. the most, the most immoral, the most arrogant of the ruling community.

That theme becomes a bit tiresome, especially when it’s limited to a superficial, superficial presentation that only serves to give the story a repulsive and indignant villain. self-righteous. However, the central point is relevant and correct, it is still true that most of the Cursed ones includes watching innocent people, especially women and children, suffer in grotesque and gruesome ways because of Seamus’ selfish choices. Knowing that it’s all a moral game won’t make the pain of the vulnerable and untrustworthy any easier to bear.

And for history-savvy viewers, it’s hard to escape the way Cursed ones puts racist stereotypes at the core of the story, painting its Romanian victims as occultists with repulsive black magic at their disposal. Using the “gypsy curse” as a conspiracy device was an old horror cliché back when Stephen King did it in Thinner in 1984, or even back when Lon Chaney Jr. created the werewolf tradition on the American screen in 1941 Werewolves. It feels amazingly retrograde to see the trope reappear in 2022, without examination or clear thinking. Problem Combination: The Romani Curse Actually Stole The Child Of Seamus, Another Human widespread racist stereotypes which should have been buried long ago.

That’s the inevitable core problem with Cursed ones sours a lot of the action and creates a story that seems to crave the artistic horror of Robert Eggers’ Witch look upstream instead of pushing the envelope. There’s a real old-fashioned Hammer Horror vibe to this movie, with the colorful fake red blood being replaced by something much denser and more arterial. But perhaps all could have used a slightly more thoughtful discussion of its basic ideas – both on screen, between characters who disregard the lesson here without drawing any conclusions. argument or perception, and off-screen, before Ellis mixes a horrifying fictional monster that refuses to die, and horrifying ethnic prejudices that have the same problem.

Cursed ones playing in theaters. Cursed review: a bloody werewolf story built around terrible prejudices

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button