My Soul to Take (2010): The Film Critics Love to Hate?



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Written and directed by “tongue-in-cheek” horror master Wes Craven, My Soul to Take opened to almost universal pans. No-one, it appears, liked the film and critics united in an effort to slam this film. As a huge Wes Craven (and fan of all the Screams) I am amazed at the amount of “Craven-bashing” that took place when this film premiered.

It is almost like a rerun of Craven’s other film, Cursed; which to be fair was a pretty messy affair (being re-shot no less than 3 times) and critics again rallied to beat Craven metaphorically about the face and eyes in their rush to show their hatred for this film. I waited for the film to be released on DVD and watched it.

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I liked the rated and un-rated version…

I liked it.

So when critics slammed the s**t out of  My Soul to Take, I withheld my judgement (as usual) until I’d seen it. Unsurprisingly, I liked it. In fact, I liked it so much I bought a Blu-ray copy of the film. So while I have to restrain myself from giving the middle finger of disdain to the world’s film critics, I have no problem with sending a huge raspberry their way.

Starring:

Max Thieriot
Denzel Whitaker
Raul Esparza
Shareeka Epps
Bug looking pretty damned guilty.
Bug looking pretty damned guilty.

The Plot:

On the night that an almost unstoppable serial killer with a split-personality is seemingly dispatched, 7 babies are born in the local hospital. 16 years later on their birthday, they are all hunted down by the presumed dead serial killer and one boy, Adam ‘aka Bug’ (Thierot), finds out that his dad was the serial killer. Adam must figure out who is killing all his peers and stop him or her.

The Device:

*Warning: this could be seen as a spoiler.*

All the film’s action hinges on the device of “soul eating” and that when a person dies their soul is consumed by their killer. Apparently, when the original serial killer died, his soul was split into 7 parts and each baby born on that night took a portion.

The Twist:

The killer isn’t who you (repeatedly) think it is.

The Verdict: 

The film is honestly not as bad as the critics would have you believe. Okay, so some of Craven’s sly humour is missing here. The overall plot is not too complex and basically folks, if you’re expecting another version of the Scream verse; you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not as clever as Scream or Cursed (which I liked remember) so be prepared.

It does feature another “super-human” Big Bad that is fairly impressive. So overall, I really cannot understand the total lack of love that this film gets.

The Score: 

I would have to give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars just for the split-personality angle and the 7 souls schtick. A good popcorn munchin’ film with solid performances by all.

*This is an experimental review format that I’m trying out for this film. Let me know what you think. Vote on the format you like best and I’ll try to write future reviews in that format.*

*Just to let you know, I’m popping my Poll cherry here, please be gentle! I’ll “post” the results after a week or so. Thanks guys.*

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Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

15 thoughts on “My Soul to Take (2010): The Film Critics Love to Hate?”

  1. I watched this when I was really really sick and while I remember the kids and the whole split soul thing vaguely, I remember practically NOTHING else, not even who the killer is. I also remember a feeling of vague disappointment when it was over that it wasn’t better (the same way I did with Cursed…) but I wasn’t throwing things at the telly and screaming bloody murder or anything. 😉

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    1. Yeah, it may have been a bit bland or even generic, but overall, it wasn’t as awful as the critics painted it. Not Wes’s greatest work but not worth burning him at the stake or anything. 😉

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  2. It’s too bad that filmmakers aren’t like musicians in that they can’t just tour with their old material. I would pay Wes Craven every 2-3 years the price of movie tickets for any number of his old films, to see them in the theater again and again, just like I go and see bands multiple times.

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  3. I haven’t seen this film. I like the review though and your new format. If there was ever a weakness in your reviews from what I’ve been reading it seems that you sometimes spend too much time just telling me what happens in a film – which is what you watch the film for. Your strength lies in sharing your own unique opinion on the film with us. So if this new format means much smaller plot rundowns then I’m all for it ! I just wanna hear what you have to say mike not what the back of the box says ! 🙂

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    1. LOL A great bit of instructive criticism and I welcome it! My daughter used to proof all my reviews and she was always saying too much information Dad! Thanks mate and it does appear that you’re not alone in your preferences. Thanks mate!! 😀

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  4. I didn’t like My Soul to Take to be honest but I don’t think it’s any worse than a lot of horror films out there…certainly not deserving of quite such vehement criticism! I’m a huge Scream fan, but My Soul to Take came across to me as a bit hypocritical of Craven having made a franchise solely with the purpose of, essentially, taking the mick out of the horror genre. Having said that it was a concept that hasn’t been done to death, and it was unique and fresh in a sense.
    Craven lost some of my respect with the fourth installment of Scream more so than with My Soul to Take…he can disguise it as a way to further parody the horror genre all he likes but Scream 4 was obviously just a money maker…why else would he release it a decade after the third. Things went quiet on the Craven scene so he chucks out another Scream!
    I’ll always be a fan of him and his work, I love the original Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and Scream will always be my favourite franchise (minus the fourth…needless to say I haven’t added it to my collection!) but My Soul to Take will be a one time watch for me, I didn’t enjoy it at all.

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    1. That’s funny, because I loved Scream 4. Mainly because it fit. If they had not focused on the current web mania (the urge to broadcast everything and the tendency to create instant celebrities) I would not have enjoyed it as much. Like most of hopeless Scream fans, I was also excited to see the old gang and how they were fairing. Still, I know a lot of folks didn’t like it and I now I was a little dismayed to see that there is talk of a Scream 5. :-/

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      1. Oh dear God…I was joking with my boyfriend (another horror fan) about a Scream 5 the other night! I didn’t think they were actually making one :O That’s disappointing

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