My Soul To Take
It’s Ripper Day, the anniversary of a serial killer’s death that brought the town of Riverton to its knees sixteen years ago. Seven children were born that night and some believe the killer’s soul passed into one of those kids while others believe the killer never truly died, either way people are dying and it’s up to the Riverton seven to put an end to the Ripper once and for all.
Reinventing one’s self in the Horror industry isn’t an easy task for anyone, even a guy as renown as Wes Craven. There’s a reason so many Horror films are being remade and simply put, it just ain’t easy to invent new icons for this genre. Jigsaw (according to Tobin Bell) was a fluke but be that as it may he’s become a household name. Other than that, I enjoyed THE COLLECTOR, THE STRANGERS and FUNNY GAMES but the only true breakthrough Horror icon to come about in the past few years other than that would be Adam Green’s Victor Crowley from HATCHET (I’m purposely leaving one out but I’ll come back to him later). I can’t see the Ripper joining the ranks (unless it’s through straight to DVD sequels) but I did enjoy this film nonetheless.
First, the good: I dig stories about multiple personalities when there’s clearly been some effort put into them (dropping it on us in the last five minutes has gotten rather old), but even better is the idea of soul jumping. This film reminds me of John Saul’s BLACK LIGHTNING (if only vaguely) where a killer learned to leave his body and possess someone else for a short time. CHILD’S PLAY used this theory a bit more directly but in all cases I’ve enjoyed it. Uniquely added details like the condor are always welcome as is Wes Craven’s obvious ability to write sharp, witty dialogue laced with just the right amount of humour. Pacing, score, tension, those were all bang on as well.
Now for the bad: First, releasing this in 3D is a joke (on us) because it’s obviously all about the Benjamins as there was absolutely no need for it or proper use of it whatsoever. The biggest flaw is with Wes Craven himself as he’s his own worst enemy here. Have you guessed the left out icon yet? Wes Craven’s SCREAM films introduced Ghostface into the mix (and in all honestly I’m looking forward to SCREAM 4) and though he’s a fantastic baddy, I couldn’t help but feel cheated here as the Ripper was pretty much living in his shadow. He even called one of them on the phone and I was waiting with a grin to see if he’d drop a scary movie line. He didn’t, but I’m sure you get the picture.
MY SOUL TO TAKE was a decent trip down Horror lane with an explosive opening sequence and a cool ending for what it is. Like I said, it’s rough trying to keep your edge sharp in Horror these days, especially with slasher flicks like these. Wes Craven is clearly still in SCREAM mode, which is fine, but it wouldn’t have hurt him to distance himself from it and take this film down a different road. Similarities aside this is still good times and the best new choice at the theatre right now unless you live in one of the selected cities showing Ryan Reynold’s film BURIED (I clearly don’t) but that said, the cost of 3D can be steep so waiting for this one to hit the home market might not be a bad idea either.