Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Max Thieriot, Emily Meade, Raul Esparza, Denzel Whitaker, John Magaro
Directed by Wes Craven
Distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment
You ever catch yourself either watching or staring at something that you know is completely ridiculous yet you cannot look away? Something that entices you with its several layers of bad that for whatever reason nearly teeters on borderline genius? Yeah, that’s Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take.
I wish I could say the story is simple, but it’s not. In fact it’s so mind-blowingly muddled I’m not even sure how to describe it to you. Suffice it to say that sixteen years ago a maniac called the Riverton Ripper disappeared on the very night seven children were born to the sleepy town of Riverton. Fast-forward to the present day, and the Ripper is back and looking to make short work of the aforementioned kids and anyone else who gets in his way. Coincidence? Not likely. So what’s the connection? I can damned near guarantee that by the time you find out, you’ll be too dumbfounded to care.
Plain and simple, My Soul to Take is one hell of a mess. There are good ideas present here, but none of them are fleshed out. None of them are seen through either, and instead of giving us a climactic ending, we get what amounts to a five-minute long script read-through from the film’s token black and blind character who somehow managed to scale the side of a building and lock himself in a closet.
That’s right, kids! Instead of showing us what happened, we get to hear about it. That’s just friggin’ awesome, no? And that’s just one of many WTF things about this movie. It’s insanely hard to make sense of. and honestly, I’m not even sure if it’s worth the effort. Nonetheless, it has some strange underlying charm that makes you feel as if Wes Craven is off on a ride all his own that you’re not allowed to enjoy as much as he is. I must admit that even though the movie is pretty shitty, I’m inclined to be sort of fascinated by its badness.
While released to theatres sporting the most inconsequential 3D ever, My Soul to Take comes home to Blu-ray and DVD in the rightful 2D format it should have been in in the first place. The picture quality of the Blu-ray is razor sharp and artifact free, and the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does an excellent job rendering the film’s soundtrack. That’s about all I can say is really good here because even the extras kind of suck.
We get an alternate opening that’s very reminiscent of Craven’s Elm Street days and two different endings that offer more of a ghostly explanation point to be put on the proceedings. Tack on twenty minutes of mostly expository deleted/extended scenes and a cookie-cutter commentary track (which explains nothing BTW) featuring Craven and actors Max Thieriot, John Magaro, and Emily Meade; and we’re finished.
My Soul to Take is a cinematic anomaly that will probably cause much discussion amongst film geeks who will most likely hail this as a misunderstood piece of art in ten years or so. Keep this in mind, though … you can paint a picture of a piece of shit and call it art, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to have a pleasant experience looking at it.
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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