My Soul to Take (2010)
Director: Wes Craven
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.