Movie Review: My soul to Take (2010)
My Soul to Take, starring Max Thieriot and Denzel Whitaker, turns a typically cheap teen scare flick into a thriller/murder mystery. But this mystery isn't really any better than your average Halloween horror movie about naughty kids harboring secrets and brutally getting killed.
At the beginning, we learn of a bizarre series of murders at the hands of a blade-wielding murderer, and his subsequent death. But the legend of this unprincipled madman who kills with a blade that says “VENGEANCE” is what doesn't die in the minds of the town's youth, as they become convinced that 16 years later on midnight, he will emerge and come for the 7 teens in the town of Riverton who share birthdays on the night of the villain’s death.
This nearly soap opera-style engagement of teen social life, mixed with urban legends and effective lighting to go with an atmosphere that at first packs the potential to be scary, loses its way in a plot that all but completely alienates its audience.
My Soul to Take may create the right mood for fear, but this can't be said to actually help anything. While the acting is nothing to speak of, the real problem is found in the writing, with odd-fitting characters that never seem convincing, much less likable. An extensive run-time of teens talking, with a peculiar Bible-toting redhead and a few bully jocks, comes off more like an insult to the intelligence of everyone than a way of relating to kids.
The unfolding of the story seems to be trying to tease the viewer into being scared by what finally becomes such a slow and belabored progression that the whole project can only be called an impulsive waste of time. There is more to creating fear than taking the traditional “Now I lay me down to sleep” childhood bedtime prayer and attaching it to an eerie premise of a horror movie. This is definitely a step back for renowned director Wes Craven.
Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Rated: R (for strong bloody violence, and pervasive language, including sexual references.)
Director: Wes Craven
Summary: A serial killer swore he would return to murder the seven children born the night he died.
Starring: Max Thieriot "Bug," John Magaro "Alex," Denzel Whitaker "Jerome," Zena Grey "Penelope," Nick Lashaway "Brandon," Paulina Olszynski "Brittany," Jeremy Chu "Jay"
Genre: Thriller / Horror / Mystery