Film #23 of 2013
A serial killer returns to his hometown to stalk seven children who share the same birthday as the date he was allegedly put to rest.
This was a movie I ignored once it was released. I don’t know what put me off about it. I love Craven films and horror movies in general. I guess it just didn’t look too special judging from the synopsis.
“My Soul to Take” is the first film of horror master Wes Craven’s in which he’s been both the writer and director since 1994’s “New Nightmare.” That is probably why a lot of fans were disappointed with this release, they just expected something earth shattering from Wes and not a bad attempt to rehash a bit of Craven’s earlier work; “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), and maybe even a dash or two of “Scream.”
The film stars Max Thieriot (The House at the End of the Street, Bates Motel) as the protagonist Adam “Bug” Hellerman, who is one of seven teenagers chosen to die. I thought Max was good in his role, he always does well with playing innocent/psycho all at the same time as he previously demonstrated in The House At The End of The Street. The film deals heavily with the subject of multiple personality disorder, but sometimes it feels more like Lord of the Rings where Max Theiriot’s character is Gollum.
It is more elaborated on in extend scene that his sister Fang/Leah probably also has multiple personalities. We already know she goes by Fang at school (and is like a different person) then the Leah she is when she is at home.
Other things in the film are just confusing. So confusing in fact that I too started talking to myself before I started writing this review! Why does Bug/Adam imitate the living (like with Alex below) and mimic the living, not just people who have already died?
How is it that the that after members of the seven die, their souls go inside of him? I lot of this movie is just hard to explain.
It’s unclear exactly what Bug thought his relation to Fang/Leah was prior to her telling him the truth. How could he not know that they were Plenkov’s children? Bug has the last name Hellerman, but it’s unclear what last name Leah uses, but it obviously wasn’t Plenkov. Why did Leah wait so long to tell him? Ssurely it was eating her up inside. This was probably why she beats him up, to get all that anger out she has been holding in for so many years. Was keeping it a secret her way of protecting him?
The film has an ongoing bird analogy, but it wasn’t used as much as maybe it should have been. There could have been an interesting Crow type dynamic here. Bug is fascinated by the California condor being an eater of souls and the myths surrounding them. He sees himself as one, especially at the end. His back gets scraped up in the pattern of wings.
I loved some parts of it, but a lot of it was more confusing then anything. I hated the costume the killer wore, and some of the death scenes were just awkward and seemed very low budget. They were also even unnecessary, the film would have worked better as being just a thriller instead of trying to make it a teen slasher too. The storyline about souls going into a body has been done countless times so it didn’t really add anything new to the genre.
I think this could have been a great film, but it was almost like it had too much going on. Alex and his step father, the bird analogy, the psycho father, Adam/Bug’s problems – all wrapped into some kind of slasher rip off. That being said it did have some moments where I screamed very loud so it does have some scares!