Movie Review: My Soul to Take

Title: My Soul to Takemy soul to take
Rated: R
Genres: Horror, Suspense
Director & Writer: Wes Craven
Stars: Max Thierot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker
Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Riverton Ripper’s murder spree came to an end 16 years ago. He didn’t go without a fight. No, the Ripper is the type of villain who doesn’t stay down, no matter how many wounds he’s taken, and then makes an oath to kill the people left alive. Well, surprise surprise, after an impressive attempt by police officers and paramedics, the Ripper’s body vanishes.

Each year the teens who were born the day the Ripper died perform a little ritual to keep the murderer from fulfilling his murderous vow. But during the sixteenth year, they’re prevented from completing it and the murders begin anew, starting with them.

My Soul to Take has a lot of the classic horror tropes including the villain that just won’t die, a ritual, teen protagonist, a curse, and questionable sanity, as well as many of the ‘high school’ tropes. I loved this. While I enjoy many modern horror films, I find more often than not that they shy away from the psychological horror and jump straight to the gore.

my soul to take bug

The best part of the film for me was the main character, Bug (Max Thierot). He’s very timid, shy, and innocent, but with an underlying darkness. He’ll fall into moments where he acts very strangely and doesn’t even know he’s creeping out the other characters. He actually grows throughout the film too. He sheds those innocent and shy tendencies as the film progresses.

Even though I had fun watching My Soul to Take, it did have its flaws, mostly in the form of ‘could-have-beens.’ Craven sets up an interesting connection with the teens and the Ripper, but he doesn’t go very far with it. The Ripper seemed to have been collecting the souls of his victims and housing them in his body. The teens seemed to reflect some of those soul’s characteristics. It doesn’t go much further than that set up, nor do we really get an explanation of why. There could have definitely been some amazing plot if it was explored further.

Generally, it watches as a fairly mediocre horror flick, especially if you compare it to most of Craven’s other films. Despite that, and the less-than-stellar critic response, I enjoyed it and can see myself watching it again when I need a fix of teen horror.

Website | IMDB

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