My Soul to Take (2010)


In a small town, a schizo is shot while attempting to kill his own family. On its way to the hospital, the ambulance transporting the psychopath has an accident and the killer disappears. Sixteen years later, the madman seems to have returned to kill seven kids born on the day of the tragedy.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) was never what one calls an auteur, but he has done some good work in his forty-year-plus career. Sadly, My Soul to Take continues the horror maestro’s losing streak — this is perhaps his worst movie ever.

The film never made much sense to me. Craven’s shoddy screenplay — the director’s first original script in almost twenty years — is all over the place. I’m not really sure what Craven was trying to do here. The first ten minutes are among Craven’s career worst. The over-the-top opening scenes are like Mel Brooks on steroids.

The rest of the film is not much better. At this point, Craven is content with self-plagiarism. The film is a regurgitation of everything he has done in the last thirty years. A few nice-looking moments cannot salvage an essentially uneven narrative. No suspense, no emotions, no nada. The editing is particularly poor.

The acting ranges from average to bad. Max Thieriot (House at the End of the Street) is boring as a teen who may or may not be suffering from a mental illness.

Danai Gurira (Michonne in TV’s The Walking Dead) is a good actor but she is, unfortunately, wasted in a nonessential role. I did like Zena Grey (Snow Day) as an uber-religious teenager — this is the only interesting character in the whole movie.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

It’s all very disappointing. Good idea, bad execution — My Soul to Take is one of Craven’s least-effective movies. With John Magaro (The Big Short), Denzel Whitaker (The Great Debaters), Jessica Hecht (Sideways) and Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Det. Frank Patterson. Color, 107 minutes, Rated R.

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