The Beast of Gévaudan is the historic name given to the man-eating animal(s) that terrorized the former province of Gévaudan. The beast is generally described as a wolf-like canine with a tall, lean frame. It’s said to be the size of a calf, a cow, or in some cases, a horse. Its victims are often killed by having their throats ripped out. And, you’d have to kill it multiple times before it was finally stopped.
Written and Directed by Sean Ellis, The Cursed is loosely based on the folklore of the Beast of Gévaudan. The film takes us to a remote country village in the 1800s. Here we meet the Laurent family whose son has gone missing and a beast is terrorizing the community. Next, we meet John McBride (Boyd Holbrook), a pathologist who is there to investigate these attacks and disappearances. However, he discovers something much darker and more evil is on the loose.
The Cursed begins with a flashback to a family who recently moved to an area where Roma’s have been for decades. Through incredible brutality, the film sets the tone of what’s to come. I really enjoy the historical elements used to explain the curse, as well as the use of the Roma people exacting their revenge.
While we’ve seen Werewolf movies set all over the world and in different eras, I loved the time frame for this film. Having it set in the 1800s leans into the evilness of humans, and the mystery behind the monster. During this time, they did not have modern-day technology or luxuries in order to fully understand what was going on. To be honest, even if it was set in the modern-day we would still be clueless. I also feel it helps the viewer suspect their belief to understand and accept a Roma curse like this could be real.
IS THIS HORROR FILM SCARY?
One thing I like about horror films is being scared. It’s also why I enjoy going to haunted houses. So, when someone puts out a Werewolf film I expect suspense, a cool monster, and to be creeped out. While the film isn’t “jump out of your seat” scary, The Cursed does a good job of building suspense, giving you a really interesting monster, as well as great creepy moments. On top of this, there is quite a bit of gore in this film. While it’s not slasher film level, it’s definitely enough to make you cringe with the mix of practical and CGI effects.
The message in Ellis’ The Cursed is one that everyone will interpret differently, but it’s definitely one worth listening to. While he leans toward the monster symbolizing addiction, I found the story to be more about how we treat our fellow man.
Make sure to check out The Cursed coming to theaters on February 18th, 2022. Stay tuned to THS for more reviews!