ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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My Soul to Take (2010)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Wes Craven

Starring:
Max Thieriot/Bug
John Magaret/Alex
Denzel Whitaker/Jerome
Zena Grey1Penelope
PLOT-CRUNCH
A serial killer that goes by the name of The Riverton Ripper (pretty original alias there...bugh) is whacked out by 5.0. whilst on the same night seven kids are born. Sixteen years later, on the anniversary of that said lovely evening; the seven kids, now teenagers, start dropping like Lindsey Lohan eating snatch for cigs in prison. Is there a murderous ghost in the house?
THE LOWDOWN
I know I’m late on this one; I was in Spain when MY SOUL TO TAKE was unleashed on the big screen in North America and it wasn’t screening there at the time. So why re-visit a film from last year? Cause it was WES CRAVEN’s return to pure horror since he churned out SCREAM 3 and CURSED in 2000. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t cover one of our master’s latest genre work. Yeah you heard me; "master". With iconic and influential films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven's New Nightmare, The Serpent and the Rainbow and Scream slammed in his clip; Mr. Craven has earned the moniker and then some. Shite even his less than perfect films like: The Hills Have Eyes Part II, The People Under the Stairs, Red Eye, Deadly Friend and Shocker are still superior than the norm on varied levels. So after hearing so much negative yelps as to MY SOUL TO TAKE from fans and the press alike; I was mega pumped to see it to judge for myself and alas… I have to side with the “it’s a shit sandwich” crowd on this one.

MY SOUL TO TAKE showed promise early; which made the garbage that ensued even more testing. For starters, the thing had a good pace and even better teen actors. When not dragged down my lousy lines; Paulina Olszynski, Zena Grey, Max Thieriot, Emily Meade and company were aces! Thieriot in particular owned it hardcore; without him being on top of his shit, the flick would have been more painful to sit through. Moreover, for a while there I actually thought I was about to get another Elm Street. I mean the similarities were striking: small town setting, high school teen leads, a killer coming back for revenge, ghost of victims popping up to help the hero; shite; the Riverton Ripper even had his own rhyme a la Freddy K. (well it was a prayer… but you know what I mean). The random creepy bits and the dread filled atmosphere on hand owned me too; nobody brings “the unsettling” out of a night sequence like Mr. Craven does, he just has the touch in that respect. Bummer that it all went nowhere slow once the story kicked in. It’s funny; cause at about halfway in; I turned to my date and said “its too bad Craven didn’t get a better screenwriter to write this; because there’s something there”. My jaw dropped during the closing credits when I found out that Wes had written the script himself…ouch!

Am not sure how much Studio interference went down here as Craven seems to attract it (Hills Have Eyes 2, Deadly Friend, Cursed); but this narrative structure was pure un-wiped ass. It was akin to one holding a Royal Flush and folding instead of upping the ante, dropping the cards, bagging the loot and nailing the cash-hoes. How can you f*ck this up? Killer with multiple personalities dies; killer’s spirit might be in one of the teens (who may or may not embody his many personalities); let the whodunit fun and slaughter begin! No dice! Although My Soul to Take did show hints of capitalizing on its promises; it all got drowned out; sunken under its own weight of too many good ideas/none of them developed enough to gel within the whole. Other peeves would be: Tacky “Ooooou I’m a Condor” symbolism... yeah... could have gone without; shove it. This was Rated R? Why? The kills were un-inspired; often off camera and unraveled way too swiftly. Same went for fear bits. Every time Craven had me by the balls; he would let go way too soon; so the sequences would fall flat. And am I going to address the unoriginal Ripper coming off as an un-scary, grunting vagrant that my mom could bitch slap (his one line “Fear Ye, The Ripper!” was lame too), the faux hip dialogue (“Wake up and smell the Starbucks”…groan…) or the idiotic "chick bully and her crew control school and have meetings in bathroom" subplot? I guess I just did… KILL ME NOW MAN! The last nail in this one’s foreskin was the dumb character moves; that kicked in for no reason (not even to serve the plot) and the exposition heavy yet semi incoherent finale that finally went the slasher way cause hey; what else is it gonna do; its not like a story was built up to a logical conclusion or anything like that.

So there ya have it; consider this Wes Craven fan totally let down. Maybe I just didn’t get the oeuvre that Wes Craven made, maybe my expectations played against me, maybe it was so smart that it went above my hollow noggin. Or maybe it’s a complete POA. Either way, the sooner I forget MY SOUL TO TAKE, the better. Here’s to SCREAM 4 making up for this misguided crap. CHEERS!
GORE
Stabbings, blood, a slit throat and… that’s it. That’s it??? What was the R Rating for? Poseur dialogue? Freddy Krueger is rolling over in his grave as we speak and I don’t blame the bastard son of a hundred maniacs one bit!
T & A
There wasn’t jack f*ck here. Again… R Rating…why? Thank Zeus, I got laid after the movie.
BOTTOM LINE
MY SOUL TO TAKE should have been a winner. The odds were in its favor: a promising premise, solid teen actors, an R Rating, no meddling Weisteins and Wes motherf*cking Craven behind the keyboard & camera. So WTF happened here? Me no comprende vato! Low gore, uninspired kills, a meh villain and worse of all; a muddled storyline that tried to do too many things at the same time hence wound up accomplishing NATHING. It almost felt like Craven attempted to whip up a high brow/ esoteric/symbolic heavy version of Elm Street with this one or something. Whether I'm right or talking out of my cheeks; this one had a big FAIL carved into its forehead…I simply didn’t get it and now that time has passed, I truly don’t care to.
BULL'S EYE
The flick was at first name "25/8".

This is the first film that Wes Craven write and directed since Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

The film was converted to 3D in post production (i.e. shit 3D) and holds the record for the lowest 3D film opening in history.
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2:10AM on 03/25/2011
Wasn't an abomination like I kept hearing, but upon finishing it all I could say was "Really, Wes?" The story just makes my head ache a bit, the teen talk is terrible, and like you said, the kills were pretty yawn-worthy. Wes, please say you did a better job with Scream 4, or else my faith is completely lost in you.
Wasn't an abomination like I kept hearing, but upon finishing it all I could say was "Really, Wes?" The story just makes my head ache a bit, the teen talk is terrible, and like you said, the kills were pretty yawn-worthy. Wes, please say you did a better job with Scream 4, or else my faith is completely lost in you.
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8:54AM on 02/23/2011

MY SOUL TO CRUSH

Once again Craven cashes in that check and gives us shit in the process. I give props to anyone who was able to sit thru this entire movie and not walk away. The only redeemer was the actress who played Bug's sister. She was credible and did a helluva of a lot more with the throw away character she was given. Compared to the other 'actors' she was MerylfrigginStreep! The script wasn't just flawed it was complete nonesense. The premise was good but the execution was all over the damn place and
Once again Craven cashes in that check and gives us shit in the process. I give props to anyone who was able to sit thru this entire movie and not walk away. The only redeemer was the actress who played Bug's sister. She was credible and did a helluva of a lot more with the throw away character she was given. Compared to the other 'actors' she was MerylfrigginStreep! The script wasn't just flawed it was complete nonesense. The premise was good but the execution was all over the damn place and half of the stuff they introduced us to in the first half was totally forgotten in the second half (why were they all born blind, but only one of them remained blind?!) Sorry but anybody who thought this was good needs to stop calling themselves 'horror fans' . I'm gonna go wash off the stink of this movie from my brain by watching a REAL Wes C movie , like Shocker.
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12:26PM on 02/17/2011

Flawed yet Underrated.

Wes Craven`s script was the most flawed thing of this latest work. It is certainly not his best work as a director and especially screenwriter.

But i did like the premise, the young actors were actually good in the movie. The biggest problem in the movie, i felt Craven was trying to mix a horror movie with comedic teen satire. That doesn`t always work. If he wanted that badly, he should have hired Kevin Williamson. Williamson probably knows how the way teenagers talks better than
Wes Craven`s script was the most flawed thing of this latest work. It is certainly not his best work as a director and especially screenwriter.

But i did like the premise, the young actors were actually good in the movie. The biggest problem in the movie, i felt Craven was trying to mix a horror movie with comedic teen satire. That doesn`t always work. If he wanted that badly, he should have hired Kevin Williamson. Williamson probably knows how the way teenagers talks better than Craven.

But the movie did had its moments, Max Thieriot as the lead was good, Emily Meade was certainly the sexiest teen in the movie as the somewhat goth chick. Even Zena Grey was very pretty as well. I thought the best thing about "My Soul to Take" was actually end credits sequence filled with animation and storyboards of the movie. That was the most unique thing of the picture.

"My Soul to Take" certainly looks good on Blu-ray. I don`t think "My Soul to Take" is as bad like Craven`s infamous sequel to "The Hills Have Eyes". Now that was really bad film.
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8:04PM on 02/14/2011
I totally agree with your review but I enjoyed this movie a lot more than you did, does that even make sense?
I totally agree with your review but I enjoyed this movie a lot more than you did, does that even make sense?
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11:22AM on 02/14/2011
Yep...I pretty much agree. I would also add that the characters were UBER boring and bland...but the cast was good.
This was my BIGGEST disappointment of 2010, cause I was actually really stoked for this film. We don't get unremake slasher films very often anymore =/
Yep...I pretty much agree. I would also add that the characters were UBER boring and bland...but the cast was good.
This was my BIGGEST disappointment of 2010, cause I was actually really stoked for this film. We don't get unremake slasher films very often anymore =/
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