Cursed (directed by Wes Craven, 100 mins)
Juicy gossip about this werewolf pic has horror fans wondering if the title was self-fulfilling. Extensive rewrites. Special effects changes. A cast change or two. Pulled from Halloween release. And the final nail: cancelled press screenings.
Still, it's not like director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson don't know how to make nail-biters for the teen set. Remember a little franchise called Scream?
Plus, you've got Christina Ricci trying to scratch her way out of the indie film ghetto, 70s heartthrob Scott Baio (!) playing himself and Arrested Development's Portia de Rossi rumoured to be in the film's first scene (and you know what that means in a horror flick).
Man Of The House (directed by Stephen Herek, 95 mins)
What is it about rough-edged guys suddenly doing comedies? Next week, Vin Diesel flexes his comic muscles as a disgraced Navy SEAL forced to protect a bunch of kids in The Pacifier. This week, Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones plays a Texas ranger assigned to protect some cheerleaders who have witnessed a crime in Man Of The House . The trailers for the film have been getting moderate laughs. Cedric the Entertainer does the slapstick thing as Jones's sidekick, an ex-con turned preacher.
Lots of shots of scantily clad coeds shaking their pompoms should ensure the young straight male demographic. And let's see if gruff understatement is the only comic card Jones (the Men In Black movies) has to play. Both films open Friday (February 25). For venues and times, see Movies, page 84. Screened after press time. See reviews February 25 at www.nowtoronto.com/film.