It’s wondered what kind of childhood Wes Craven had since nearly all of his movies depict a group of teenagers getting brutally murdered, usually with a knife. He did it in the Scream movies and now has done it in his latest train wreck My Soul to Take. By the same logic though it would be wondered if George Lucas grew up on a planet inhabited by muppets.
My Soul to Take takes place in the quiet Connecticut town of Riverton, a name Utahans can appreciate, where a schizophrenic serial killer slices up a pile of people, including his pregnant wife, before the cops finally take him down. The killer though manages to somehow survive several self-inflicted stab wounds and bullets to the chest before he blows up his own ambulance in an effort to escape. He of course disappears into the local river and his body is never found.
On the same night the shooting ambulance blowing up action happens, seven local pregnant women just so happen to give birth at the same time. The plot jumps ahead 16 years to when they’ve all grown up to be a generic grab bag of teenage clichés and celebrate their birthday with a campfire re-telling of the serial killer that once was. The plot slides downhill from there as each of the teenagers is brutally picked off one by one by the killer. The writers seemed to want the audience to wonder whether it was either one of the kids doing it or if the killer comes back but that was pretty much given away in the trailers.
The kids are each picked from the standard bag of horror movie teenage personalities. There’s the jock/bully who, just in case any female tries to like him, turns out to be some sort of fledgling pervert. The valley girl who has no mind or will of her own but will do whatever her friends tell her. The Christian, whose line of “When things get too hot, use prayer-conditioning,” makes you want to cringe more than the gory scenes. Some Asian kid who was creative or something, but he doesn’t develop well since he’s the first to die. A blind kid, an anti-social with a bad step-dad, and the main character, who is some sort of mentally slow crazy who’s sweet innocence is made just so the audience has someone they can like in this movie.
Throughout the movie there’s some incoherent subplot about the serial killer originally having more than one soul and something about a condor is briefly introduced but it fails to make any sense in the end.
The movie is presented in 3D, Hollywood’s latest revised gimmick. The sad thing is, there are no shots in the movie that make the 3D worth it. When 3D is used in Avatar it makes the incredible special effects even more spectacular, even if the fight scenes do look like someone swirling paint together. But in a movie like this it just emphasizes how bad the movie is. Creating the optical illusion of depth does not actually add to the depth of the movie.
My Soul to Take is rated R for language and people getting cut up Thanksgiving turkey style.