You would expect a film by Wes Craven to have at least something akin to his previous “Nightmare on Elmstreet” films. But “My Soul to Take” has the writing ability closer to that of the writers of “Sesame Street.” And, with the actors being as terrible as they were, Craven might’ve been better off hiring Elmo. I know I was channeling The Count about halfway through the movie, wondering how many more minutes I had to go before the film ended.
“My Soul to Take” is a horror film about seven teenagers who were born on the same day that a vicious serial killer died. On their sixteenth birthdays, the teens are picked off one by one as it seems the murderer is back from the dead, or in the body of one of the kids.
The film doesn’t make sense from one scene to another. Instead, it appears to be miscellaneous lines and scattered emotions strewn together. What’s supposed to be a horror movie flips back and forth from a coming-of-age drama, to an after-school special, to a gory B- movie.
It never explains why the killer decides to come back on the kids’ sixteenth birthday.
The significance of this year in their lives seems pointless. When I was sixteen, I was applying zit cream and pondering the complexities of sex at that age. Considering that this is an R-rated movie, and you have to be over 17 to see it, the young age loses its personal appeal to the audience.
The only excuse for Craven’s timing that comes to mind is that the murderer wants to keep brainless teens from getting their driver’s licenses.
And brainless they are. The stereotypical characters don’t curry any favor from the audience. When the killer went after one of them, I was indifferent. In some cases, I was rooting for the murderer. That’s not good, Wes. Your audience really shouldn’t be cheering for the violent serial killer.
“My Soul to Take” was another addition to the “useless 3D” genre. It didn’t need 3D. And if I hadn’t been forced to wear those cheap, pinching glasses on my face for an hour and a half, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference. There isn’t one memorable scene of popping 3D action.
And then there was the “ah ha” moment at the end where everything is explained. Except, there wasn’t. I left the theater just as confused about the plot as I was 10 minutes into it. It bothered me enough that I went online. After visiting half a dozen sites, I realized that no one appears to know exactly what happened.
What is most disappointing about the film is that Wes Craven is one of the great masters of horror. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend this film unless you want to leave the theaters bored, confused and slightly aggravated.