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Many of you may find what I’m about to say to be blasphemous; nevertheless, I must speak my mind. Whereas most horror fans have over the years developed a loathing or hatred for M. Night Shyamalan, I feel the same way about Wes Craven. I know, I know… he’s given us some classics, but please remember, he’s also given us Deadly Friend, Vampire in Brooklyn and Cursed. Still a doubter? Then be sure to go see My Soul to Take. I rest my case.

My Soul to Take is a very odd movie. We’re immediately thrown into the action with no exposition. That didn’t bother me; at first I thought it was going to be a “thinking man’s horror film”. You know, why waste time spelling out everything in black and white; let the audience figure it out. But as the movie wears on, it becomes tiresome and confusing. One major character and subplot is so randomly introduced that the resulting payoff, or twist, is nearly missed. This is where I blame Craven. On paper, I think this twist is a good idea; however, the execution of the idea is terrible.

Although I can’t pinpoint from where it comes, the plot of My Soul to Take seems altogether unoriginal. Perhaps that’s because we’ve seen aspects of it many times before. On the anniversary of his supposed death, a serial killer returns to terrorize seven children born on the same night. Maybe. Is he really back or was he reincarnated into one of their souls? Even if we’ve seen a similar story, it could be interesting, but it needs to take a stance on what the final outcome is going to be. Instead, it struggles so hard to keep us guessing that it is just plain confusing. Not every movie needs a twist ending. My Soul to Take might have been better if it was less concerned about trying to surprise us.

For the first two-thirds of the movie, if you “go with the flow”, you still might think it’s going to end up being all right. But then the climax is confined to the interior of a house and is excruciatingly drawn out. Characters’ actions become flat out silly and the movie’s efforts to shock, tedious. Again, no matter how many times we’ve seen it, the old “which one of you is the bad guy” device can be quite thrilling. But here, the execution is so sloppy that you just don’t care.

The young cast is mostly unrecognizable, giving it a generic, CW-movie-of-the-week feeling, if there were such a thing. However, the actor who plays Bug, Max Thieriot shows promise. It’s a shame his character suffers the most from the movie’s lack of direction and failure to commit to a single idea.

I’ve tried to avoid this topic because I don’t believe it has much to do with the actual move; however, I have to say that there is absolutely no reason for My Soul to Take to be released in 3D. There aren’t even any cheap visual stunts suited to the medium to make it fun. Nothing jumps out at the audience or stays in the foreground to emphasize the extra dimension. If I weren’t wearing the bulky glasses, I wouldn’t have even realized it was in 3D. (In fact, one time I reached up to scratch my nose and painfully drove the hard plastic of the glasses into it, forgetting that they were there.) Nope; here the third dimension is just plain “dumb”.

I’d say My Soul to Take was a shame, but that’s giving it more credit than due. It came from nowhere with little promise, so I’m not exactly disappointed. Except in myself. I should have known better, yet I eagerly attended on opening weekend. I feel like we horror fans never learn. And once again, I’ve lost another two hours of my life. I feel like, yes, my soul has been taken.

REVIEW: My Soul to Take
1.0Overall Score
Creepy Kids
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