Screw the werewolves; it’s the viewer who’s ‘Cursed.’

The scariest part of Wes Craven’s werewolf movie "Cursed" was trying to navigate the sprawling suburban hellhole where the screening was held. Thanks to shitty MapQuest directions, I circled for an hour in strip mall purgatory, passing the same Jack in the Box until my knees were shaking.

I realized while driving panicked from one gigantic mall parking lot to another (there aren’t any actual roads in Beaverton) that if one more SUV were to ride my ass, if one more woman in stirrup pants was to shamble in front of my speeding vehicle with a shopping cart full of dirty children and double-stuffed Oreos, I may have sprouted all-over body hair and gone on a bloodthirsty rampage myself.

Locating the glaring megaplex where "Cursed" was showing was not the end of my struggle. Confused by the cafeteria-style food service center, I stood like an ass in front of a plastic display case of gourmet pretzel bites, nachos and pizza slices, waiting for someone to help me.

"Cursed" was a useless waste of celluloid, with one exception: in some instances, they used a real werewolf costume instead of computer animation. While it was only rarely convincing, I applaud any filmmaker who realizes that cartoons just aren’t scary, no matter how loudly they growl and bare their teeth. The film’s occasional escape from trite computer animation was commendable, but when they did use CGI, it wasn’t just bad. It was really, really awful.

In some sort of compensatory strategy for being unscary and uninteresting, "Cursed" is swamped in ineffective camp, and the result is an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" meets "Law and Order" where the main objective is to solve the mystery of who’s the master werewolf and to laugh at bad jokes. In one instance, Christina Ricci coaxes a female werewolf out of hiding by saying she has a boney ass and bad hair.

If ever there was an actress who didn’t need to lose weight and get a breast reduction, it is Christina Ricci. She’s always been skankeriffic – it’s what she was good at – and the "grown-up girl with a real job" character she plays in "Cursed" just doesn’t work.

Take away Ricci and the werewolves from "Cursed" and all you have left is WB actors playing WB roles in overlong WB action sequences featuring WB-caliber violence. Craig Kilborn and Scott Baio of "Charles in Charge" make appearances playing themselves. One or both of them should have been king werewolf, but neither of them is.

This is the problem with the rash of horror movies that have been spewed out this year – filmmakers are trying to make psychological thrillers out of slasher plots, mold psycho-thrillers into action movies and inject originality and humor into all the places where blood, gore and titties should be.

Plainly stated, stop trying to make your crappy horror flick different than all of the others. Put six to 10 teenagers in a confined space. Establish how annoying they are. Have them become werewolves and die gruesome, bloody, naked deaths. Then and only then should you start worrying about bringing something new to the table.