Being a strict old man who can quote the bible on a whim can have it’s advantages. You can get your wife and your family to do basically anything you want, for fear of your wrath. You can live like a king, and when you have something to do, you can tell everyone to shut the hell up, and they’ll listen to you. While that might sound like a pretty sweet gig, it can also cause your wife to get fed up and fool around with the hairy dude that’s putting in your well, and can cause a meteorite to fall from the sky and smash up your farm and give you The Curse. I’d say the cons outweigh the pros on this one…
Nathan Hayes is that grumpy old man, and he’s trying to make sure that his family farm doesn’t get put up on the auction block. While he has that on his mind, his new wife has a night of unbridled passion with a dude that wears a sweater even when his shirt’s off, and his stepson Zack (Wil Wheaton) hates his friggin guts. On the night that the hired help is laying pipe in his wife, a glowing ball crashes into his field and makes a skid mark longer than the one that he just made in his underpants when he heard the explosion. The whole family runs out to see what all the commotion is about, and Zack runs to the neighbor’s house. That neighbor is Dr. Forbes (Cooper Huckabee), town doctor and all around scientist guy.
The next day Dr. Forbes comes over to check out the meteorite and discovers that it’s shrunk overnight. Over the next day it actually dissolves and absorbs into the soil, which if you haven’t figured it out by now, is not a good thing. See, the well that the Hayes’ just had dug is going to be used to irrigate their plants, amongst other things, and now that water is contaminated with this crazy sludgy meteor juice. The plants start growing like crazy and the fruit and vegetables that they produce put miracle grow to shame.
What they soon come to find out is that the water and the vegetables taste funny, and when they cut into them, all sorts of weird crap oozes out of them. Soon, the animals are going crazy – horses are chasing family members, and the chickens are trying to peck people to death. Something has gone terribly wrong with the water, and while Zack knows something is up, no one will believe him. Now Dr. Forbes and a water inspector named Willis (John Schneider), are going to have to try to help the family before they turn into some crazy boil faced mutants!
While I’m not usually Wil Wheaton fan, I thought he did a good job here. He plays the cautious kid that thinks that there’s something going on with the water but no one wants to believe him. The mom listens to whatever Nathan says and ends up paying for it, even though she has to realize something’s up when a cabbage she’s cutting is full of slime, and a tomato actually explodes in her face. Then there’s Cyrus, Nathan’s fat son who lives up to every southern stereotype in the book and even wears a sweet cutoff football jersey, so we get to stare at his gut for every scene he’s in.
After checking out IMDB, I’m surprised to see that it was released with an R rating. There isn’t much swearing, and the gore is really tame compared to a lot of PG movies that are released today. I think the worst thing was when a guy got torn into in slow motion, or maybe one of the first people to drink the water that ended up melting in the attic of the house. Let’s just say that I think I’ve seen worse in the new Transformers movie. Most of the scares are attempts to be shocking, but they’re telegraphed and cliche so you can see them coming from miles away.
The Curse reminded me a little bit of the Larry Cohen film “The Stuff“. The purpose of both movies was for the antagonistic substances to take over the world, but in the case of “The Stuff”, the actual stuff seemed to be sentient whereas the meteorite ooze from “The Curse” is just there to destroy all the living inhabitants of earth – and it’s motives are never really explained, it just exists. They both seemed to turn the lives that ingested it into crazed bloodthirsty freaks, and in the case of The Curse, they sprout some very appealing boils all over their faces.
The Curse ends up being pretty silly. People get run down by dogs, kids getting pecked to near death by chickens, and heads of cabbage are full of all sorts of slimy ooze. Thankfully, if you couldn’t tell, all this adds up to being a pretty entertaining movie because it never really takes itself too seriously. If you’re not laughing at how ridiculous it all is, you’ll probably enjoy the action packed finale or the last scene that will leave you scratching your head. The Curse is worth 3.5 melting moms out of 5.