My Soul to Take: More Craven crud

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By Matt Brunson

MY SOUL TO TAKE

*

DIRECTED BY Wes Craven

STARS Max Thieriot, Zena Grey

The best thing about My Soul to Take is that it may force otherwise sensible folks to revisit director Wes Craven's past works and finally realize that he's always been nothing more than a hack in the horror field, a Uwe Boll with a better sense of where to place the camera. (Forget Scream and Freddy Krueger; Red Eye and The Hills Have Eyes, neither great but both certainly watchable, represent his apex of aptitude.)

In this head-smackingly stupid film, seven children are born on the same night that a serial killer known as the Ripper is brought down. Sixteen years later, the kids, now obnoxious high school students, are being picked off one by one, begging the question: Is the Ripper still out there somewhere, or did his soul enter one of the babies on that fateful night long ago?

To his credit, Craven keeps his rampant misogyny in check — in most of his films, it's the victimized women who receive the fetishistic close-ups and elongated death scenes, but here, each slaying (male and female) is as dully and incompetently presented as the next. His screenplay is so haphazard that one wonders if he was writing pages minutes before each day's shooting commenced; additionally, there are no horror set-pieces worth mentioning, and Craven's stock high school characters would have made John Hughes cringe. It all adds up to a soul-crushing waste of time.

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