Once Bitten (Cursed 2005)

For Cursed, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson teamed up to bring us a take on a different type of horror. Rather than slashers, they tackle werewolves. Jimmy and Ellie are brother and sister who witness a car accident one night, when they attempt to help the driver, they are both bitten by a wild animal that mauls the driver.

But as the days pass, the siblings both find they are feeling different. They heal quickly and Jimmy finds himself becoming both a better athlete and more desirable to people. While Ellie is skeptical of Jimmy’s werewolf theory, she becomes convinced as she feels the changes coming on. They then try and determine how to free themselves of the curse. In the grand tradition, they must end the blood line of the werewolf that bit them.

They discover who the werewolf is and then have to fight to end their curse. But there are complications…is the werewolf the one that is killing people?

You know…unlike Scream, this effort from Williamson and Craven lacks any punch. It has some decent twists and fun moments (for example, Jimmy’s dog gets infected and becomes a werewolf dog). But this really feels like an attempt by Craven to make a film in someone else’s style. Lots of fast cuts, rock music driving the soundtrack. I know Scream did something similar, but more effectively. This film has a good core cast, but is also filled with a very early aughts TV cast. You have actors from Dawsons Creek and Smallville. Pop singers.

There are no scares in this werewolf tale and it really collapses under its own reference heavy weight.

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