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The CineManiac’s 31 Days of Horror – Day 14: My Soul to Take

“My Soul to Take is a disaster. Inept, unoriginal, and juvenile horror filmmaking.”

My Soul to Take

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Starring: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker


United States | R | 107 mins

Wes Craven is practically a household name, and not just to fans of cinema. Craven has crafted some of the horror genre’s most memorable scares and one of the genre’s biggest icons – Freddy Krueger. From setting the template for the extremely unsettling rape-revenge sub-genre with Last House on the Left, to vicious killer mutants in The Hills Have Eyes, to inducing nightmares to practically every child who caught a glimpse

of the ‘clawed man’ with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Craven’s name is engraved on more than one horror classic. Hell, all of the above mentioned have even been remade! But lately he’s been downhill with crap like Cursed and Red Eye, and we can only hope to forget Vampire in Brooklyn… And his latest effort My Soul to Take, which was also post-converted into 3D (yuck!), is probably his worst since Eddie Murphy donned fangs!

Some years ago the small town of Riverton was terrorized by a knife-wielding serial killer known as the Riverton Ripper whom was supposedly captured and killed. Now sixteen years later the Riverton Seven, seven teens born on the same day the killer was allegedly put to rest, are being killed one by one by the very legend that shadows their births. Adam “Bug” Heller (Max Thieriot), one of the seven, is trying to figure out the truth and save his few remaining friends before the Riverton Ripper gets them all, but a bigger question must be answered first: did the original Riverton Ripper actually survive that night and has returned to seek vengeance, or has the serial killer’s soul possessed one of the teens?

Completely inept and a giant mess, My Soul to Take is an absolutely horrendous exercise in horror filmmaking where continuity, common sense, and fact are completely ignored. Characters spout insanaely sophomoric dialogue such as “Epinephrine kicks ass!” after a medic sticks the original killer with an EpiPen, or the soon-to-be-cult-catchprashe “If it’s too hot out, just turn on the prayer conditioning.” Whoah! Really? The fact that Wes Craven not only directed this mind-numbing experience but also wrote it is so unfathomable it hurts the brain. The only neutral thing that My Soul to Take has going for it is that the actors portraying the 16-year old teens actually look their age, which you usually never see in a horror film involving teens.

My Soul to Take’s biggest downfall however is that it doesn’t know what its target audience really is. Since the main actors portraying the Riverton Seven do in fact look high school age, you would think that high school age teens would be the film’s demographic, but the film has a ‘hard R’ and the violence and language are both explicit. Right there the R-rating eliminates that would-be audience from seeing it in the cinemas. The overall content dealing with the characters, their lives and relationships, the music, and the horrendous dialogue, aside from the foul language, is written for the PG to PG-13 crowd so there is some inept miscommunication for the marketing and execution of this film. The only way to describe it is as an R-rated slasher for the Olsen twins crowd. And just thinking about that is enough to make anyone’s head explode as that makes about as much sense as the movie. My Soul to Take is a disaster. Inept, unoriginal, and juvenile horror filmmaking. And the 3D wasn’t even well put to use and barely noticeable! Wes Craven, you’ve got some explaining to do!

copyright 2010 Tyler Baptist

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