The soundtrack for the 2005 Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson screamer Cursed begins with Bowling for Soup's good-natured take on the Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs' classic "L'il Red Riding Hood." It's an appropriate remake for a contemporary werewolf film. But Bowling for Soup's version is also pretty cartoonish -- an easily to swallow concoction of high-five guitars and too-loud vocals -- and the same goes for most of the music on Cursed. Though it's referred to as the "Cursed Mix," the "Better Now" that appears here is nearly identical to the push-button INXS version on Collective Soul's 2004 LP, Youth. Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell contributes his usual eager half-rap to "You'll Never Catch Me," but the track's scratches and chunky riffs sound left over from the late-'90s crest of big beat. (Cursed's sequencing of the 1999 Apollo 440 jam "Stadium Parking Lot" directly after Harwell doesn't help.) Some of the collection's material could stand on its own. Junkie XL's "Spirits" struts with clubby energy behind Republica vocalist Saffron, and a remix of Alkaline Trio's "Fine Without You" gives it a pulsing electro-pop feel. But most of the cuts on Cursed are just genre representatives, from the glowering alt-rock of Three Days Grace and Seven Wiser to electronic background music from Crystal Method and the Dashboard Confessional soundtrack appearance that's obligatory for films in this demographic.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus