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Dark Disney

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty Review

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty is a dark retelling of the fantasy classic. Most popularly imagined in the Disney animated film, Curse is a morbid reincarnation that takes the story of misconstrued sexual deviance and makes it into a more horror-oriented affair. It follows a young man as he inherits his uncle's old mansion and experiences visions of a beautiful young woman, which leads him down a dark path to solve the mystery of his family's past and the young woman in his dreams.

The film had some pretty nice set pieces and focused a great deal on practical effects during its most frightening moments. This was most evident with its use of the mannequins. The Silent Hill-esque approach was by far the most effective element of the film and made an impact. It was abused poorly at the end in a scene that completely killed the terror that had been built, and in a laughable way. Still, the usage of the mannequins for most of the film was the most haunting aspect.

I tend to get annoyed with films that become dependent on dream sequences, even if said dreams are a key component of the story. It's the same with drug usage scenes in film. I don't have much patience for the psychedelic film treatment and would rather it be used in a film sparingly when possible. Curse's dream sequences got flashier and wilder as the film went on, which proved aggravating when wanting to see the story progress in real-time. I don't need to see the same demon face flash on the screen 20 times. I get it.

The twist can be seen from a mile away. Thankfully, I don't find the film inherently dependent on this twist, because I believe at least subconsciously the director expected you to assume it. The film focuses more on the journey, but does doze off into the mystery a bit too much considering the heavy-handed hints towards the conclusion. If you already know the answer, the details of solving the question become less relevant.

I can't concretely decide whether Curse was good or bad, partly because I can't determine exactly what it was hoping to accomplish. I suppose if I'm unable to properly determine the film's purposeful direction, that might fall on the film. It just seemed to flip-flop between taking itself too seriously and not taking itself serious enough. At times it seemed to find the perfect sardonic tone, but then would abandon it for cheap laughs or unnecessary drama. The potential is ripe throughout the film, it just isn't realized often enough.

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 6/10

Film Quality: 4/10

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