The curse of Alcatraz can be summed up in one sentence. It eats 87 minutes of your life and you will never get it back. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA. And that's the only scare your gonna get with the yawn-a-minute boring, inaccurate movie about, and I quote, 'A group of scientists hired to solve an unusual murder.' Right out of the gate - no. That is not what the movie is about. At. All. There is nothing supernatural, nothing horror worthy, nothing worth sitting through this dumb thing unless you've never seen Alcatraz and really really REALLY want to see the inside of an empty prison. Really.
The true story here is an archaeological find that is supposedly discovered in a part of Alcatraz that was to be remodeled but never finished. It is a skeleton the 'scientific team' quickly determines it to be at least from the 1800's. Of course, the first to look at the skull poking out is the head Ranger, who immediately cuts his finger. So you know he's doomed. But not for a looooooong time.
In fact you are one whole hour into this sorry mess before things try to pick up - and fail. I was finding so many inaccurate and just plain wrong and stupid parts my pen was beginning to smoke. Oh and my heading? If you think I'm making fun of the Native American culture, back up.
First, I'm a card carrying member of the Cherokee Nation. Second, I worded it that way 'cause I watched this mess on Hulu which rarely has close captioning and the woman 'expert on indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest' (sorry honey, that only includes Oregon, Washington, B.C. and Alaska) either mumbled or spoke so quickly I couldn't understand a single name she spewed out. Oh wait, there was one - she said there were 'cursed' ones that the Sioux called MMMM...
Sigh. Young lady, the Sioux were mainly in the Great Plains and while I'm not saying it's impossible for the Sioux to know anything about Native Americans living in the San Francisco area in the 1800's, it's bloody unlikely. Just like San Francisco is not part of the Pacific Northwest. And this movie is not about a curse. Or the paranormal. Or even the interesting. And trust me since I am one - being Native American and visiting your grandparents does not automatically make you an expert on anything. Of that I have personal experience.
Let me break down the basic story (and this is fiction, not a history lesson) - sometime in the 1800's lived the tribe of MMMs who were peaceful farmers and fishermen. An illness broke out, killing a lot of the tribe. Those that lived lost their minds and became insane savages. Others decided to take advantage of their fierceness for protection against invaders. When they felt the insane killers were no longer useful, they tricked them to go onto the island and then burned the canoes. Umm, how did they get back? Pfft, never mind.
So the insane one were pissed and died (who buried them and where was the last... sigh, never mind). At the beginning we get a flashback to an inmate thrown into the 'hole' which wasn't finished who got infected by eating the cockroaches crawling over the skull (sounds like he was already a sandwich short of a picnic anyway) and an outbreak happened that... hmm, they never say how that one was resolved.
Which leads to our duh Ranger pricking his finger on the damn thing and instantly starting to get sick. And yes, they did treat it at first as a possible homicide, given that the skeleton was intact but the scientists determined the soil preserved it which made the case null and void so... the detective tries to leave and somebody kills her. Who? We don't see and we don't care. We're over 40 minutes in and begging for something, ANYTHING.
So we have five scientists - leader, two girls, two guys (one in a wheelchair). Three rangers. One hour into the movie and NOTHING IS HAPPENING. The 'expert' is still quacking about bad feelings and curses, a couple who were exposed to saliva or blood are getting sick and the deranged Ranger dude has told them they're stuck on the island although it was only supposed to be a three hour tour. A three hour tour.
Sorry about that. Finally things get... well hell they're still boring but at least people are dying so the end is getting near, right? One girl is sort of eviscerated (low budget didn't allow much for intestines), one guy, the one in the wheelchair is duct taped to it because, you know, if a scientist doesn't carry duct tape around, umm, hmm, my thought just went away. His head is repeatedly slammed in a cell door until it's pate' - not really shown of course 'cause hey, money.
The two unaffected (leader and so-called expert) find the dude in the wheelchair sans head and the leader checks his neck for a pulse. Let me say that one again. He checks the neck of the guy without a head for a pulse. Yup, this is the level of duh the whole movie pretty much stays with.
The leader, after being infected and cutting off part of his arm to stop the spread wakes up in the hospital. Miraculously (and also off camera - money money money) someone decided to find out where everybody was and took the two (and the dead I imagine) off the island. The CDC says they've been working on a strain of this same disease for years. Oh joy. The two are sworn to secrecy about it.
Uh huh. In real life, those two would just disappear. And we're done... almost. In one of those 'you should have watched the credits' douche moves the movie continues and we see one infected person still alive and on the island - then him climbing out of the water to wreak havoc on... oh sorry, dozed off for a second there. Anyway, somehow they're saying this sick dude manages to swim through freezing waters to the mainland and leaves it at that.
This movie brags that it's the last one to be filmed on Alcatraz Island. Uh, I think that they probably just ruined it for future film makers to use 'cause this one was so embarrassing. Look up any list on movies about Alcatraz. This one isn't on them. Hmm...