The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-My Soul to Take

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

Slasher films are not OK. Unless they’re written and/or directed by Wes Craven.

My Soul to Take is Craven’s first writer/director job since 1994 (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare). He’s best known for the iconic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which was a bright spot in a decade full of Jason and Mike Myers making critics fear for their sanity more than their lives.

My Soul to Take follows Craven’s pattern of making character-driven slashers with his villains having more of a connection to the main characters than just big men in masks with knives. The film begins with a prologue chronicling the death of the Riverton Ripper, killer of seven. The man, Abel Plankov, is afflicted with dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personalities. In his ambulance, a Haitian woman states that in her country, people with multiple personalities are believed to have multiple souls, the difference being that the souls live on.

Sixteen years later, the Massachusetts town has developed a culture surrounding the Ripper and the seven children born the night he died. On the 16th anniversary of this evening, the Ripper returns and begins to kill off the “Riverton Seven,” who are believed to have inherited the Ripper’s seven personalities.

The film is, at its heart, a defiance of slasher conventions. The characters are nuanced far beyond those of most films of the genre, and their roles are reversed. Typically, the kids doing drugs and having sex get killed off by the slasher and the innocent one survives, a subtle endorsement of “values.” In My Soul to Take, each of the seven who get attacked has moral and amoral aspects, and innocence is no protection from the villain. In fact, it is only the main character’s loss of innocence that saves him.

Despite this, the movie comes out flat. The audience is stuffed with conventional movie symbols in water, mirrors and birds. These motifs, like all things, are all right in moderation. But when the movie is saturated with them, the audience feels condescended toward.

Additionally, the movie is predictable in spite of its breaking of conventions. Red herrings are seen quickly for what they are, and by the time the climax is near, only two are left alive to serve the function. The story is confusing and neglects much of the Gothic imagery shown in the trailers.

It will be interesting to see uncut versions of this movie. With so many visuals in the commercial but not in the movie and such a disjointed climax, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a director’s cut that is a little longer and much better.

Final Take: A slasher film that isn’t spectacularly bad, but just isn’t good.

Those who would enjoy it: Slasher fans

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