The Curse (1987)

The Curse1

6/10

A cheap horror B-movie, based on the classic HP Lovecraft story The Colour Out of Space. A mysterious glowing meteor lands on the farm of a bunch of hillbillies. Its light creeps over the land and the object melts into the ground. Next, the whole farm gets infected with mysterious diseases with the same color as the mysterious object, but the father stubbornly insists that nothing weird is going on.

The Curse is surely not as bad as the ratings make it seem. It is a b-horror movie, an entry-level horror movie that could easily have become a cult classic. It has enough to like about it! It has plenty of rural atmosphere and funny practical special effects, and entertaining, unsubtle acting.

Starring Wil Wheaton as the famous kid actor of the day, The Curse is very focused on a rather small cast. Wheaton’s actual sister plays his sister in the movie, and he has a disgusting brother. The father is overbearing and religious, the mother is cheating on her husband and of course, that coincides with the downing of the Object from Outer Space. This “curse by fault” is an addition to the story that HP Lovecraft never included.

the curse

There are lots of disgusting practical effects, from rotting vegetables that explode in the kitchen to ugly boils on people. This is all accompanied by an effective score, that rests heavily on simple electronic drumming and country banjo music to impress on us that we are in hillbilly farm country.

The film moves farther and farther away from HP Lovecraft, showing erotic scenes and café scenes that are totally out of place compared to the rest of the film. The mysterious mood of the first half hour sort of disappears, and occasionally turns into comedy, which is also not in Lovecraft’s spirit. But this is more a fault of clumsy filmmaking than actual intent. Still, I think this film is rated so badly by people who wanted a more faithful retelling of the original.

Conclusion

If you like disgusting Farmville horror, the film is worth it and creepy enough. It is not too long either. There is strange ooze and maggots and boils and horses going crazy. There are no real jump scares but more like a creeping increase of worrisome events. Maybe I make it sound like it is comparable to The Witch (2016) or Slither (2006), but the incessant banjo music and maggots make it something quite memorable and unique. Don’t expect too much, though.

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