October 24, 2010

Movie Review: My Soul to Take

mysoultotake1_largeIn 1984 Wes Craven delivered a defining moment in slasher cinema. That year he gave us A Nightmare on Elm Street and introduced us to Freddy Krueger who stands to this day as one of the greatest of movie monsters. In 1996 he again crafted a defining slasher film. He teamed with Kevin Williamson to give us Scream, a movie that single handedly reinvigorated and ruined horror for a handful of years. Now Wes Craven is back at his killing ways with My Soul to Take and his new slasher, the Riverton Ripper. Does it prove to be another defining moment or does it fail to deliver the bloody goods?

Sadly, it does not. This feels a little like someone who is trying to ape the Craven style but does not quite have the talent to actually pull it off. It starts off strong, like a good Wes Craven film, but then it changes gears as the rest of the characters are introduced and just falls apart in the execution. Now, since we know it is a Wes Craven film, we can throw the idea of it being a rip off of Craven out. With Craven at the helm the movie feels like it was made by a director who is running, or has run out, of ideas and has chosen to borrow scrapings from past creations. I suspect the thought process was that a fresh idea could be born out of a combination of past successes. Unfortunately, that thought was misguided.


The movie opens with a pretty intense sequence featuring a schizophrenic killer trying to reconcile the different personalities. Fortunately for us he does not do a terribly good job at suppressing the bad guy. He gets caught, shot, and trapped in an ambulance that explodes, he is presumed dead. The timeline jumps ahead 16-years and we meet the 7 kids that were born the same night the schizo guy was presumed dead. We meet them in a rather clunky exposition sequence involving a celebration of the demise of the killer, who has since been dubbed the "Riverton Ripper."

Some people start dying, lots of people begin talking about the return of the Riverton Ripper, there is something of a twist and the movie wheezes to its ultimate conclusion. Ugh. It just did not work. The opening was so promising and could have been a fantastic throwback to old school horror with a modern twist instead of the lackluster slasher with a twist.

It has been awhile since I have seen it so many of the specifics have slipped away. Granted, it did not take all that long for that to happen considering how forgettable the entire exercise was. Craven has made some great films, but he has had his share of misfires and this is one of them. I can only hope that this is him getting the junk out of the way to pave the path for a strong Scream 4.

One can hope.

Not Recommended.

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