My Soul To Take: Movie Review

My Soul To Take Movie Review
Review by Mike Pickle,

My Soul to Take is the first film both written and directed by horror icon, Wes Craven since 1994's New Nightmare. Cool right? Not so much. While I did enjoy New Nightmare; I knew, before watching this, that Wes Craven wasn't immune to directing an awful film. He directed Cursed in 2005 which is one of the most disappointing Horror films in recent memory. I still expected more from My Soul to Take. After the three (soon to be four) Scream films; I looked forward to Craven's return to an original story that seemed promising in the hands of such an accomplished Director.

In the small town of Riverton, Massachusetts; a local family man has seven personalities. One of which turns out to be a Serial Killer known as the Riverton Ripper. He's killed while running from the police and seven local pregnant women just so happen to go into premature labor the night he dies.

Sixteen years later the local legend states that the seven personalities of the Riverton Ripper inhabited the souls of the children born that night. Now known as the "Riverton Seven" the group meets regularly at the spot where the Ripper died and take turns performing a ritual to keep him away. When one of them screws up his turn; they are each stalked and killed one by one by a dark figure. A figure that is either the Ripper himself risen from the dead or one of the seven whose soul was inhabited by the Ripper.

Scenes that blur the line between dreams and reality are signature Wes Craven. Not to mention the deep voice-over on the phone that taunts the main character. There were even some scenes where the director set up for some really nice scares, but they rarely followed through. A couple of the kill scenes were somewhat unnerving, but none were particularly creative or memorable. Not exactly bad, not exactly good. Just there. The same can be said for the writing.

All the characters seemed to drone through the extensive dialogue that includes eye-rolling repetitions of the "My soul to take" prayer and uninteresting stereotypes of typical High School students. Most of the characters, including the main character Adam "Bug" Hellerman played by Max Thieriot. never seem to reach the level of likable. All except for the exceptional Emily Meade who plays Bug's big sister Leah "Fang" Hellerman. She's a pisser, but she's one of the very few memorable things about this film.

As if there wasn't enough reasons to dislike this film; it was shamelessly released in 3D just to capitalize on it's growing popularity. It was not filmed with the 3D concept in mind and has no shots set up to take advantage of the technology. I didn't even know it was supposed to be in 3D until after I watched it. Much like the decision not to screen the film for critics; the 3D conversion was just another ploy by the studios to turn a quick buck before the masses learned how common and tiresome this film is. I'm getting bored just reviewing it.

My Soul to Take builds some nice tension, but it's constantly building and never quite pays off. It wasn't the disastrous train-wreck of Cursed, but it wasn't the type of film you would expect by someone who directed Nightmare on Elm Street, Hills Have Eyes and Scream. I still hold out hope for Wes Craven to come back with a good film with Scream 4 where compelling characters are already in place. While his directing skills are still apparent in this film, his writing seems to have lost the ability to carry an interesting premise through to a satisfying climax. Not a great addition to add to the legacy of a horror legend.

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