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My Soul To Take

My Soul To Take

By Patrick Samuel • April 2nd, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 4/5
MY SOUL TO TAKE (Blu-ray)
Momentum Pictures 

Release date: April 4th 2011
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 96 minutes

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker, Zena Grey, Nick Lashaway, Paulina Olszynski, Jeremy Chu, Emily Meade, Raul Esparza, Jessica Hecht, Frank Grillo, Danai Gurira

Small towns and local legends go together like a hand and a glove, and if the hand belongs to Freddy Krueger, even better the legend perhaps!

We didn’t have much in the town where I’m from to create legends like killers in hockey masks or wielding chainsaws, but we had one about an evil spirit that would suck the blood out of goats at night, leaving behind dry carcasses in the morning. It doesn’t sound that scary now, but try being 5 years old and hearing that story.

My Soul To Take

After coming up with one of horror’s most infamous killers with Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), writer and director Wes Craven returns with My Soul To Take, introducing us to a new legend and a new killer.

Set in the sleepy town of Riverton, legend tells of a killer who swore he would return to murder the seven children born on the night he died, each inheriting a part of his soul. Every year, on “Ripper Night”, those seven kids meet in the woods for a ritual where they face their fear of the Ripper.

This year turns out to be a little different, and as teens start disappearing, everyone’s wondering if the Riverton Ripper has finally returned to claim those seven souls. What’s more; the killer could be one of the Riverton Seven, but who?

My Soul To Take

There’s the jock who bullies the weaker kids, Brandon (Nick Lashaway), the preacher girl, Penelope (Zena Grey) and the boy who gets beaten up at home, Alex (John Magaro). It certainly can’t be the beauty queen, Brittany (Paulina Olszynski) or the blind kid, Jerome (Denzel Whitaker). And then there’s Bug (Max Thieriot), the odd boy who doesn’t fit in.

There are enough candidates to choose from, but rather than focusing on red herrings, Soul goes for something else. We learn more about Bug and we feel for him as he struggles to cope with home and school. Thieriot plays the part wonderfully and it’s easy to empathise with a character that’s so likeable, yet so troubled.

My Soul To Take

Moments of tension where Craven plays with the atmosphere in the woods are balanced with humour and poignancy, like when Bug and Alex give a presentation in class or when they stake out the girl’s toilets so Bug can hear what Brittany really thinks of him.

The friendship between the boys is essentially what underlines movie; it’s innocent, but it always feels like there is a deep unspoken tension there, something that could be more. In many ways, Bug reminded me of Jessie Walsh (Mark Patton) in A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), a sequel which Craven had nothing to do with. Both characters display similar traits and, at some point, have to contend with the idea that they’re going insane.

SPECIAL FEATURES: 

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Alternative Opening & Endings
  • Audio Commentary with Wes Craven & Cast Members Max Thieriot, John Magaro & Emily Meade
  • Trailer

As much as I enjoyed these scenes, that’s not to say Soul is faultless. The Riverton Ripper is probably the least interesting character in the movie. Torn from the same cloth (or sweater) as the Springwood Slasher from A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), yet he never really comes into his own. This is just as well, it’s Bug I found truly fascinating and captivated by and I’m glad the film was more about his journey.

It might not be a film favoured by critics or die hard slasher fans, but in a genre that’s been literally bled dry, it was good to see one by a master filmmaker who approached it from an old fashioned angle; a good story.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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