THE CURSED is a bloody gothic horror tale about a pathologist in 1890 investigating several mysterious “animal attacks” in a rural French parish. The pathologist, John, finds out there’s much more to the story. He learns that a gypsy clan has cursed a wealthy nobleman’s family after the man led a slaughter against the clan to remove them from some disputed land. The attacks turn out to be the result of the nobleman’s young son being turned into a werewolf after being bitten. As John puts the pieces of this dark puzzle together, can he save the nobleman’s wife, son and daughter?
THE CURSED has high production values. Feelings of dread and evil are palpable throughout the movie. Also, some of the images, including the marshy French terrain and a deeply disturbing scarecrow, are quite effective. However, the movie overplays its hand by inserting lots of blood and gore. THE CURSED has a mixed worldview where occult evil contends with the Christian faith and morality of the pathologist and the nobleman’s wife. Redemption does occur, however. THE CURSED also contains brief nudity and an “f” word.
(PaPa, OO, CC, B, Ab, L, VVV, S, NN, A, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Mixed pagan worldview in a story about a gypsy clan placing a werewolf curse on a French nobleman’s family after the nobleman slaughters many clan members to remove them from some disputed land, so movie’s content includes strong occult elements, but there’s also some Christian and moral elements where the nobleman’s wife prays to God for her son to be protected from the gypsy curse, a heroic pathologist tries to stop the curse by fashioning four silver bullets made from the mechanism of the curse, which happen to be a pair of silver fangs created from the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas to betray Christ, the pathologist urges the townspeople to find refuge and sanctuary in the local church, but a clergyman sanctions the slaughter of the gypsies in the early part of the movie;
One “f” word and no profanities;
Extreme gory, bloody violence includes mustard gas sprays onto French soldiers in a trench and many cough loudly and painfully; in a field hospital many bloodied and wounded are seen and a man’s left leg is amputated with a bone saw (there’s much blood on bodies, the amputation is briefly shown, and the limb is dropped into a bucket), a wounded man has bullet holes in his stomach that gush blood and a surgeon digs into the punctures to get the bullets out (much gushing blood, screaming, and focused images on the bullet’s removal), a gypsy camp is attacked, tents and wagons burned, and people beaten and shot; a man’s hands and feet are chopped off and his body is raised in the air on a tall crossbar like a human scarecrow (much blood from severed limbs and agonized screams), a gypsy woman is buried alive, a boy is possessed and bites another boy’s throat, a boy is seen in bed breathing very hard and covered in spreading brown roots and blood is seen on the sheets, a young man’s hand is slashed nearly off (blood splatters on his face and clothes) and his body (decaying body with blood dried slashes) is later found in a dilapidated hut, a woman is attacked by a creature who bites deep into her throat (much blood flowing), woman is temporarily saved by a man who the creature kills (much blood splatters the woman’s face), a woman in a torn frock stumbles through the woods and screams as brown roots spring out of the ground to pull her down into a pond where she’s drowned, a girl with roots growing out of her is seen in the woods, a creature falls into a trap and is impaled on sharpened wooden staves, creature is then shot dead; the body of a white werewolf-like creature is cut open, a young girl covered in white slime and sprouting slimy white roots leers at a man before he shoots her in the face with a rifle, a woman is attacked by a creature and bitten in the stomach (much blood splatter on body, sheets, and clothes), a man is attacked in a bedroom and mauled by a creature before shooting it in the face at pointblank range (some blood is seen), a man burns himself alive to avoid being transformed into a werewolf (much screaming and flailing about), werewolf creatures enter a church and many people are maimed or killed in a literal bloodbath, a man fires a rifle and the bullet passes through a woman and into the body of a creature (blood all over the woman as she dies);
A woman takes a bath splashing water on her naked upper body (back, neck, and breasts are partially visible) and a man enters and stares before leaving;
Some partial explicit and natural nudity includes a woman splashes water on her naked upper body (back, neck, and breasts are partially visible) in a bathing scene, nude woman washes blood from her arm and body (her back, legs and buttocks are shown), and a nude child is shown briefly after a transformation (no genitalia);
Some social drinking;
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Man cuts the mouth off a skull and it is later used in a gypsy occult ritual, gypsies practice a satanic protection ritual, and a gypsy woman is said to have cursed a rich family’s land.
THE CURSED is a bloody fantasy horror movie about a pathologist in 1890 France investigating several mysterious “animal attacks” in a rural French parish. The pathologist, John, finds out there’s much more to the story. He learns that a wealthy nobleman’s family has been cursed by a gypsy clan after the man led a slaughter against them to remove clan members from some disputed land. The attacks turn out to be the result of the man’s son, Edward, who’s been turned into a werewolf after being bitten. As John puts the pieces of this dark puzzle together, can he save the nobleman’s wife, son and daughter?
THE CURSED has high production values. The feeling of dread and evil is palpable throughout the movie. Also, some of the images, such as the marshy French terrain, a drab color palette, and a deeply disturbing scarecrow, are quite effective. However, the movie overplays its hand in choosing the shock value of blood and gore rather than telling a subtler tale of terror. Indeed, in this department – bloodletting and gory imagery – THE CURSED is excessive. Consequently, viewers are disgusted more than scared, though the story is compelling enough to be scary despite its poor choices in scare tactics. There’s little character development except in that of the pathologist, who is the one bright character and perhaps the movie’s saving grace. The pathologist, played by Boyd Holbrook, is a truly heroic man. He fights against the evil of the curse and those who cast the curse. Thankfully, the movie isn’t completely devoid of subtlety. For example, the story is bookended by scenes set during World War I, which show what happened to the nobleman’s surviving family. The bookends are artfully done, but perhaps not enough to save a gratuitously gruesome movie. Also, there’s an attempt to draw on French legends of werewolves, but this too is sadly too steeped in gore to go much deeper as a story.
THE CURSED has a mixed pagan worldview. The movie’s occult content involves a pair of cursed silver fangs that the gypsy clan has created from the 30 pieces of silver that Judas was paid to betray Christ. When the pathologist finds the fangs and discovers they’re part of the curse, he melts them down to create four silver bullets to stop the werewolves. So, the pathologist’s goal is to defeat the gypsy curse. Also, the nobleman’s widow tries to protect her son and even prays to God for deliverance from evil. Finally, at one point, the pathologist tells the townspeople to find refuge and sanctuary in the local church.
This positive Christian, moral content, however, isn’t enough to outweigh the excessive gore and bloodletting in THE CURSED. Also, the movie ultimately seems to suggest that evil is on an equal playing field with good. THE CURSED also contains brief nudity and one “f” word.
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