In 2021, an independent history piece titled ‘Eight For Silver’, which was centered around a werewolf stalking a village, took the festival scene by storm. It showcased some interesting new takes on the werewolf mythology, as well as practical effects and a well written story all centered around 19th century France. After a studio bought the rights to it and made some changes, it was released one year later to theaters and a mainstream audience under a new title.
“The Cursed” is about a village Lord who is trying to expand his property in the town. By doing so, he has to evacuate several gypsies and beggars off the land. When he sends in missionaries to clear them out, one pair of gypsies melt down silver into a pair of teeth and place an ancient curse on them before burying them in the land. After a short amount of time, people in the town begin to share nightmares about the gypsies, the mysterious teeth, and a haunting scarecrow that stands alone in an open field. When some of the town’s children, including the Lord’s own son and daughter, find the teeth, madness ensues and the son goes missing. What develops from there is a story of hysteria, missing villagers, and a long series of gruesome deaths that seem to be done by a large wolf.
This movie had a lot of hype when the trailer dropped back in January, and when it hit theaters in February it performed quite well. The story has a lot of clever dialogue, it takes some interesting twists, presents some very violent and horrific imagery, and also includes some disturbing body-horror that feels appropriate for a werewolf movie but still hasn’t been shown quite like this before. The old English language feels appropriate but also subtle enough to be clearly understood (as compared to something like ‘The VVitch’). It has a lot fun and mystery that keeps you drawn in to see how the story concludes.
There are only a few flaws I found within it: mostly being the editing feels weird. Specifically, it feels like this movie was originally supposed to be like 2 or 2.5 hours long and was cut to be 90 minutes, making it so the first half of the film feels almost rushed and incoherently chopped together. It also fades in and out of dream sequences really often, which gets even more confusing among the strange editing choices. And also, the CGI isn’t awful by any means, but it still is noticeable enough to slightly take you out of the illusion. I find this weird though, because before the studio meddled with the piece it was almost all done practically – in the ‘making of’ featurettes you can even see the puppetry and designs that went into this creature, so it’s weird that it resulted like this.
All flaws aside though, this is still a very interesting history horror piece around a movie monster we don’t see all that often. It’s vicious, violent, scary, sad, and has some strong character actors who sell the fear and hatred you need to be connected with. It’s also super interesting once they discuss where the silver teeth actually originated from, and why they feel their town has been chosen. I recommend it to anyone who generally likes monsters, werewolves, or historic folk horror films.
“The Cursed” is currently available on VOD, Bluray, & DVD.
‘Til Next Time,
Your source for everything horror