Shudder: Cursed Films Docuseries

Time to get learning.

Normally I try to avoid documentary series here at How About Notflix because it opens up Pandora’s Box and there are so many times I can say “this director loves the smell of his own farts” and “there are plenty of stories that don’t need to be told and this is certainly one of them.” I’m willing to make an exception for Cursed Films.

Cursed Films is a series that goes over five of the most notorious cursed horror movie sets; The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Omen, The Crow, and The Twilight Zone movie. The stories told are pretty well known if you’re a big movie nerd, but I think the general public is going to be pretty surprised by what they hear went on on these sets.

For instance, did you know that The Exorcist set burned down? Or that the guy who was in charge of keeping the house cold died? Did you know director William Friedkin liked to carry a gun on set and just fire it off behind actors to scare them? Or that Linda Blair needed a bodyguard to protect her because some people thought she was actually a devil child?

Thankfully the show is not Ancient Aliens; at no point does it attempt to get into the spiritual or supernatural, nor does the show actually try to push the idea that the sets are haunted. Actors, directors, and crew members are brought back to talk about their experiences as well as the phenomena on why horror movies specifically tend to attract rumors of cursed sets when something goes wrong, versus other films that have issues and do not get the same attention.

Cursed Films makes no bones that the films were not in fact cursed, which brings weight to the truly messed up events that viewers will witness and hear about. People getting killed or horribly injured on set because of a director’s hubris or penny pinching. The 70’s was basically a wild west in a lot of ways for filmmakers, and Cursed Films presents their stories in a way that is respectful to those who died doing something that should never kill a participant.

At a half hour per episode, Cursed Films does feel a little dragged out at times especially with The Twilight Zone movie which has virtually no talk about a curse and just waffles for 20 minutes of vague tragedy talk before the big reveal.

Overall Cursed Films is a fun watch for its roughly two and a half hour total length. Also features Lloyd Kaufman talking about film safety while wearing a dress and surrounded by booze.

Rating: B-

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