I've come across a lot of film that don't get the respect they deserve. Escape from L.A., Slumber Party Massacre II, RawHead Rex, you name it. One film that I was looking forward to a while back was My Soul to Take. This was the first film Wes Craven had made in years, so as you can imagine, I was very antsy for this to be released. Although I was pumped to the max to see this, I completely forgot about it and just neglected it for a whole year. A couple months later, I began to notice all the bad reviews surrounding the film. Almost a whole year after the film was released, I finally got a chance to watch it, and it's really not that bad. I swear, if I'm lying, you can have...
My Soul to Take 2010 Review
In a somewhat confung opening, a man named Abel Plenkov making a dollhouse for his young daughter and a wooden horse for his yet-to-be-born son. It is revealed that Abel is a schizophrenic killer known as the Riverton Ripper. The town doesn't know the Ripper's true identity, until this night. As his alternate personality takes over, he kills his wife, is shot by the police, and driven to the hospital. However, he awakens in the ambulance and kills some more people, and he falls into the river, never to be seen again. xteen years later, we are introduced to Adam "Bug" Hellerman, an outcast at his school whose only friends are Alex and Jerome. Adam begins having vions and cannot explain why.
Pretty soon, a group of teenagers who were all born the same night the Ripper was killed begin getting picked off one by one in brutal fashion. Adam tries to solve the mystery with the help of his ster, who hates him for an unknown reason. Adam soon discovers who his real father was, and begins to suspect that he's the murderer. Has Abel returned to seek vengeance as a ghost, or has his soul inhabited one of the teens? Does the fact all seven were born prematurely have anything to do with it?
OK, I figured I'd start off with what I dislike about the film. For one, some scenes are just plain ridiculous. There's this big thing about condors, including this awful scene in a classroom where Alex dresses up like a condor and flies around the room, then sprays the school bully with green and brown liquids. Some of the writing is poor at times, and some of the acting is wooden. It's so readily obvious when CGI blood was used, and most of the time it's spraying at the screen. The idea to convert the film to 3D came at the last minute, so I imagine they added the CGI blood as an afterthought.
Now for the good. Probably the best thing My Soul to Take has going for it is the twist at the end I did not see coming. It's not like an "OMG" twist like in The xth Sense, but an "Ohhh" twist. Even though some of the acting is wooden, some is good, and some of the writing is also very clever. I liked the use of real fake blood in most of the deaths. I really liked the plot, but the trailer made it look like a cross between A Nightmare on Elm Street and Shocker, when it's really more like a cross between Scream and Shocker. This is the main reason I was confused, as I was somehow convinced there was supposed to be some dream killings. Don't ask, because I don';t have a clue why. However, the one reason why it works so well for me is not because of the horror parts. At its core, it's a coming-of-age film, and a really good one at that. Adam is finally discovering who he is, where he came from, and discovering things about himself. I remember my teenage years vividly, and this is as close to an accurate high school that I've come across (except in the superb 1986 film Trick or Treat).
So what's the verdict? Well...I liked it. Now, I definitely believe in free speech, but Wes Craven has said that due to all the negativity towards My Soul to Take, he will stop directing horror after Scream 4. The man has put a lot of time and effort into this film, only to be turned down by masses who won't look at it from the correct angle. That's pretty harsh. If you're one of the many that hate the film, try looking at it from a different angle. Look at it like it's a coming-of-age flick, and you'll see the true beauty in it. Wes, I doubt you're reading this, but if you are, I want to let you know that you have at least one person standing behind you on this one. Truly
work. but then again, I'm one of those people that kind find anything good in even the most disastrous film. That's not a statement; that's a challenge. In the comments section, tell me a movie you think is awful and I'll tell you what I like about it (if I've seen it). Remember: Going into things with an open-mind will get you good places in life.