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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker, Zena Gray, Nick Lashaway, Paulina Olszynski, Jeremy Chu, Emily Meade, Shareeka Epps
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Wes Craven
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
107 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Rogue Pictures
DVD EXTRAS
NA
 "My Soul to Take" Review 
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Is it a compliment to say that My Soul to Take is infinitely better than another horror flick opening the same weekend, the dreadful I Spit On Your Grave remake?

Yes. Barely.

The first film to be written and directed by Wes Craven since 1994's A New Nightmare, My Soul to Take introduces audiences to the serial killer The Riverton Ripper, who appears to be disposed of not long after trying to murder his family and 16 years prior to most of this film's action. Flash forward 16 years to the Riverton Seven, a group of seven teens who were all born on the same day of the Riverton Ripper's alleged demise. As we could and should expect, on their birthday these teens begin being offed one-by-one with the only real suspect being a resident weirdo teen, Bug (Max Thieriot).

At his best, Wes Craven is an inventive and imaginative maker of horror flicks with such films as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and others to his name. Craven's films aren't particularly obsessed with gore, but are more a blend of pop culture, dark humor, lots of chills and an abundance of thrills. While Craven occasionally reminds us that he's one of the more intelligent horror flick makers around, most notably in a Duck Soup styled montage likely to fly over the heads of most fans of the horror genre, for the most part Craven crafts here a surprisingly bland and unimaginative flick with almost zilch of the trademark humor we've come to expect from Craven's films.

The cast is mostly an afterthought here, with the moderate exception of Max Thieriot's energized attempts to create a rather eccentric "Bug." However, the remainder of the cast disappoints and it's particularly disturbing to see the fine Shareeka Epps (Half Nelson), whose talent far surpasses the mediocrity of this project.

Virtually every aspect of production disappoints with Petra Korner's camera work uninspired and even Marco Beltrami's original score feeling lead-footed and overly dramatic.

In terms of the 3-D, My Soul to Take is simply the latest flick to add the feature in post-production, an unnecessary add-on and an incredible waste of your hard-earned dollars with little reward to offer.

With a modest production budget estimated at $15 million and Wes Craven's name attached to the project, it won't necessarily be surprising if My Soul to Take turns a profit despite being near the cellar of Craven's cinematic accomplishments. While fans of the horror genre seldom care about the opinion of some film critic, at least take my advice and save your cash by avoiding the dimmer and completely unnecessary 3-D version of the film.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
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    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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