Director: Wes Craven (2010)
Starring: Max Theriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker
Find it: IMDB
Something of a return to form for horror maestro Wes Craven, following the Screaming turd that was Scream 4. I went into My Soul to Take with the lowest of expectations. Best case scenario: a mediocre disappointment ala John Carpenter's The Ward. But please, by Cthulu, don't let it be another Cursed. Thankfully it has more in common with the director's own Red Eye. It's a cruel and surprisingly nasty picture. Best of all, My Soul to Take is kinda good.
Seven children are born as a serial killer goes on the rampage in small town USA. They become known as the Riverton Seven. Sixteen years later and it seems that The Ripper is back, hunting down the unfortunate seven. At the centre of it all is Bug (Theriot) a troubled young individual whose connection with The Ripper goes deeper than even he knows. Myself, I was just amused at the fact that a character called 'Bug' lives with his aunt May. LOL, tenuous links.
I thoroughly expected to hate My Soul to Take. It's (mostly) bloodless horror with a cast of sixteen year olds. I hate (mostly) bloodless horror and sixteen year olds. But the film covers its relative lack of gore by making the kills count - I actually found myself feeling for the kids as they were being knocked off, one by one. Some of them are kinda douchey, but I felt genuinely bad as one of the youths had their throat slashed before me.
Not all of the kids are so likeable (the jock character and Bug's sister are horrible), but it makes a real difference to not be loathing the movie's characters all of the time. Even when they're not being stabbed by The Ripper, they find themselves beaten black and blue by one another and their own family too. A scene in which Bug is set upon by his own sister made me laugh and sob at the same time. Mostly the former.
The ending is convoluted and a bit stupid; the identity of the killer wholly predictable. The script is occasionally bad and Bug's mental issues do get annoying. But My Soul to Take is a slick, tense and grim slasher picture that's probably not as bad as you'd expect it to be. Well okay, it's not quite a return to form, but at least it's not Cursed.