My Soul to Take (2010)

It’s unfortunate that Scream 4 underperformed at the box office this past weekend, because it’s a fun horror movie and proves that Wes Craven can still bring the goods.  Thank goodness for that movie though, because the alternative would be the uneven My Soul to Take.  It’s a strange specimen too – an R-rated flick geared toward teens; how often do we see that combo?  And for a  teen-horror, it had a surprising amount of promise – I found myself caring about the story and wondering what would happen next.

Barely.

Bug is Innocent.  Or is he?

Bug is Innocent. Or is he?

A group of teens, all born when the local serial killer the Riverton Ripper died, get killed off one by one on their birthday.  Has the Ripper returned?  Has his soul taken possession of one of them?  Is someone using the legend to knock off a bunch of brats?  How is one of the teens related to the Ripper and why is he having visions of his friends’ deaths?  There’s decent setup with a dark back-story, introducing the Ripper and a bit of mystery.  The execution of plot leaves something to be desired, however.

The problem here is Soul is so uneven that it’s almost two different movies.  It’s B-movie half doesn’t take itself too seriously with a character who’s obsessed with California condors, a high school social bitch queen who’d be right at home (and maybe lead) the Heathers, and a killer whose costume makes him look like an over-tall dwarf with a skin condition.  While it’s Drama Llama half wants you to think about innocence, duality in the human condition, and nature-vs-nurture social dynamics.  At times, I liked each of the halves for what they were.  The B-movie was crap, but at least it gave me Emily Meades Fang – a vicious viper and at the top of the social structure for teens in town.  She’s sexy-cute in a Rose McGowan or Katharine Isabelle kind of way with as much bitchy sass.  Whereas I’m a little ashamed to admit that I was sucked into the family melodrama going on with Max Thieriot‘s  young “Bug” who has at least one connection to the town’s brutal murderer.

Emily Meade out-Heather's the Heathers

Emily Meade out-Heather's the Heathers

Unfortunately, neither half comes up with a decent ending.  The DVD and Blu-Ray offer 2 alternate endings, but frankly, neither of these are any better.  If we could ditch the rest of the teens and focus the story on the revealed familial relationships and killer’s history, we might have a halfway interesting tale.  But we don’t – we have a handful of interesting characters and plot points and a whole lot of nothing else.  Skip this and go watch Craven’s Shocker (1989) instead – it has a pretty similar concept, never takes itself seriously (it’s a riot), and contains a distinct lack of whiny emoting.

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About De7en

Don't let the day job fool you, this computer consultant knows the Ooky Spooky. De7en was weaned by Jaws, suffered through puberty with Carrie, and tore into adulthood hand-in-glove with Freddy. From foreign frights and classic cuts to gallons of gore and more extreme fare, De7en is always ready to dig into something fresh.