#REVIEW: “THE CURSED”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Sundance ’21 selection The Cursed is a gruesome 19th century rural Creature Feature set in France.
When Seamus (Alistair Petrie) viciously murders the gypsies living in his rural town a mysterious and possible supernatural menace is set loose. Soon after, Seamus and his wife Isabelle’s (Kelly Reilly) son goes missing. The couple calls in pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) to come to town and investigate the disappearance. However, John might have the answer to stop the creature once and for all.
Writer-Director Sean Ellis has created one of the most graphic Creature Features in recent years. He does this with realistic Visual Effects. As the creature quickly flies past the screen what’s left is a child’s hand dangling from its wrist. These visuals create spine-chilling moments that are mixed with Ellis’ tense atmosphere.
With the use of candlelight, dense fog and wooden buildings a disquieting atmosphere is crafted. The dim lighting and fog lead to the Creature being kept hidden from audience view. We’re given glimpses of the Creature, however, nothing is given away until the big reveal. This sequence leads to a graphic, shocking and satisfying reveal that will delight genre fans.
Even with all of the graphic content, The Cursed excels due to its story rooted in history. Ellis has created a genre film that has something to say. It’s about revenge against privileged people who viciously kill those deemed below them. Many characters are written with some flaws. Petrie is great and gives layers to his deeply flawed, often immoral, Seamus.
The entire Cast give strong performances. As the protagonist, Holbrook stands out as the pathologist whose journey may allow him to exorcise some demons of his own. Then there’s the talented Reilly who plays Isabella with impact. Our desire to care for her leads to the emotional Final Act.
Elevation Pictures release THE CURSED in theatres Friday, February 18, 2022.
*Please exercise caution observing COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in-theatre*