CURSED is a new Netflix fantasy series created by Frank Miller who also gave us 300 and Sin City. For this reason alone, it should come as no surprise that the Netflix series is dark and brutal from the start – though more colorful. Read our Cursed season 1 review here!
CURSED is a new Netflix series in the fantasy, adventure, and drama genres. However, it has a lot of horror elements as well. The amount of blood spill, violence, and murder alone should make that much obvious.
If you’re a genre fan and find the title familiar, it might be because Wes Craven directed a movie in 2005 with the title Cursed. The movie was written by Kevin Williamson (Scream) and starred Christina Ricci. Also, it was about werewolves. While there are wolves in the very first episode of this Netflix series, it is an entirely different creature. One created by Frank Miller!
Please note that this series is quite brutal. We’re talking people being crucified and burned alive in episode one and you’ll see blood and violence in every episode. In other words, don’t let the romance or friendship bits fool you into thinking this isn’t a very dark and sinister story as well.
Continue reading our Cursed season 1 review below. The season has 10 episodes in total and each is just around one hour.
The cast of Cursed
Katherine Langford stars as Nimue and she does a wonderful job. You might know Katherine Langford from the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the movies Knives Out and Love, Simon. She’s still at the very beginning of her career but she’s getting some huge roles and doing really well in them.
Lily Newmark (Welcome to Mercy) plays a supporting character as her friend Pym, If you’ve seen Lily Newmark in anything, you’ll know that she always brings something good to the table. We also see the wonderful Catherine Walker as Nimue’s mother. If you haven’t seen the brilliant horror drama A Dark Song (2016) starring Catherine Walker, then please do!
Recommended reading: Check out our review of A Dark Song here >
Also starring as Arthur is Devon Terrell who previously starred in the title role of the Netflix movie Barry (2016). Yes, he played Barack Obama before running around in the Middle Ages in Cursed. The character of Arthur takes up a little too much space during the first episodes for my liking. I think the opening of this series should’ve focused much more on Nimue.
Gustaf Skarsgård (of Vikings and Westworld) also plays a key role as “Merlin”. Yes, the brilliant and powerful wizard Merlin. Though he’s basically a drunk loser at the beginning of this series. Finally, I have to also mention Peter Mullan, who plays the leader of some brutal monks in red robes. You’ll know Peter Mullan from Westworld, Ozark, or maybe Top of the Lake.
Also, we have Daniel Sharman in Cursed. He’s a brilliant warrior chasing after Nimue and killing her kind. Daniel Sharman played Troy in several episodes of Fear the Walking Dead. Of course, you might also know him from The Originals or Teen Wolf. In Cursed, he’s all grown up and a very dark and gloomy character.
A Netflix & Frank Miller creation
If some stylistic elements seem familiar (such as the closing image of episode 1), it’s for a very good reason. One of the creators of the series is Frank Miller who wrote 300 and Sin City. Some of the most iconic (and best) graphic novel adaptations. Still, Cursed definitely has a lot more color and brightness than those two.
Also, while it is damn brutal from the very first episode, it also has elements of romance. Way too much for my liking – that early on in the story, in any case. Then again, I’m sure the romance is meant to attract a certain viewership as well.
Whereas movie adaptations such as 300, Sin City, and even The Dark Knight are all based on comics or graphic novels, Cursed is based on a young adult novel. And yes, it does show. Then again, it would be rather strange if it didn’t.
If you’re a fan of the more iconic Frank Miller stories – like I am – this means you’ll probably be a bit torn. There absolutely should be parts of this Netflix series you will really enjoy. However, you should also expect storylines and entire scenes that simply won’t speak to you at all.
Cursed is a tricky creature to watch and I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about it.
Watch Cursed season 1 on Netflix now!
Season 1 of Cursed has ten episodes and I suspect many will binge-watch this series to avoid spoilers. Of course, if you’re a fan of the novel this is based on, then you’ll already know much of the story. I have not read the young-adult book by Frank Miller and author Tom Wheeler, so I can’t say how much of a direct adaption this Netflix series is.
What I can say is that while there are some very familiar Frank Miller vibes in this adaption, there is also a lot that is more reminiscent of The Witcher. And also some more colorful and “young at heart”-elements that feel more innocent. In certain ways, it just means the brutal parts feel even darker. To others, this will result in Cursed not being interesting to them.
You might like: Our review of The Witcher Season 1 here >
I’m somewhere in the middle. Not blown away – mostly due to the irritating and insisting romance taking up so much space – but still intrigued by the plot. I like how this is told from the view of the “Lady of the Lake” instead of the classic “King Arthur” story. And I do very much like Katherine Langford in the lead. Basically, I’m hanging on, but not exactly a fan… yet!
Season 1 of Cursed is out on Netflix worldwide from July 17, 2020.
Creators: Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler
Cast: Katherine Langford, Devon Terrell, Gustaf Skarsgård, Lily Newmark, Sebastian Armesto, Daniel Sharman
Cursed is a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake. After her mother’s death, she finds an unexpected partner in Arthur, a young mercenary, in a quest to find Merlin and deliver an ancient sword. Over the course of her journey, Nimue will become a symbol of courage and rebellion against the terrifying Red Paladins, and their complicit King Uther.