25 September 2012 | Wuchakk
Low-budget, but serious and atmospheric
Although "The Cursed" was shot in 2007 it wasn't released until early 2010 on Syfy.
THE PLOT: A writer (Brad Thornton) comes to a small Tennessee town to complete a book and strange things start happening – animals and people mysteriously disappear or are slaughtered. He hooks up with a good-looking librarian (Francesca Cecil) and they trace the problem to a satanic curse from the post-Civil War era. Meanwhile the sheriff (Louis Mandylor) is at his wits end trying to figure out what's going on and increasingly suspects the writer's involvement.
Although this is a low-budget, independent film it's considerably better than Syfy's usual fare, e.g. "Gatorade vs. Mega-Cleavage." How so? For one, it maintains a serious vibe, which is important in an age when most mystery/horror films belong in the comedy section. Secondly, the film creates a mysterious ambiance throughout, akin to "The Fog" but with a Stephen King plot minus the cartoony characters.
Speaking of the atmosphere, I really liked how you can hear the distinctive Eastern forest sounds, like the crickets and peepers, etc. I realize it's odd to point this out but the movie did this better than any that I can remember. The film was shot in McMinnville, Tennessee, by the way (and it's nice to see a film of this ilk shot somewhere other than Bulgaria, Romania or British Columbia).
Another positive is the monster's appearance, particularly when it opens its mouth (when it's closed it doesn't look very impressive).
Negatives include too much obvious dubbing and plot elements that simply don't make sense (why would the killer of the demon become the monster? And how would the old black guy know this with any certainty?); in addition, I disapprove of two important people biting the dust and the very end is lame.
FINAL WORD: Although it's nothing to get overly excited about, "The Cursed" is effective for a TV horror film. The filmmakers and actors take the material seriously and the film evokes a cool creepy atmosphere, but the negatives cited above force me to give it a fairly mediocre rating or "almost good".