Friday, August 12, 2011

My Soul to Take (2010)

A lot of blood spilled over a soulless killer

A homicidal man with schizophrenia named Abel Plenkov speaks to himself and tries to fight the demanding voices in his head. Though the evil personality of him takes over and several people end up dead. He gets injured when the police show up and he's placed into an ambulance, but on the way escapes and is never captured. Seven were born on that day 16 years ago and remember the anniversary each year called "Ripper Day" due to Plenkov's weapon of choice: a curved pocket knife with the inscription of "vengeanace." This creates an urban legend along the lines of "Candyman" meets superstitious rules of psychology like "Mirrors" that's all fun and games at first until someone crops up dead again.

The first ten minutes hooks you in as it's highly cinematic and ludicrously exaggerated. The slasher element, instead of being omnipresent, comes and goes as the rest of the movie switches around flow and tone. This dodges a fore-fronting investigative route with the detectives who are still around from the original incident as well as the town isn't sent into a panicky fright, but this instead concentrates on the Riverton Seven through their daily activities and struggles as teens. This has sarcasm along the lines of "Mean Girls" and the "Heathers" as there is a hierarchy system with elite young ladies running the social circle at the neighborhood high school.

This has an element of mystery and some revelations are unveiled to carry you along. Could it still be Plenkov? What about that person due to that suspicious action or sentence? Taking the template from "Scream," it's going to keep you guessing till its close, that is if you didn't guess it right away. The picture is unsympathetic--so there's hardly a care if anyone gets killed--with the exception of the unexceptional guy named "Bug," who plays an innocent along the lines of "Forrest Gump" who's slow on the upkeep and gets the brunt of every joke and beating. He's afraid of most situations and gets taken advantage of, though his character is slowly but surely gaining strength to protect himself from the cruel world around him that he doesn't quite grasp. Though the get-to-know-him angle seems like a lost cause and a major distracter because it's hard to really step in with both feet and feel sorry for him as the mysterious killer could be just about anyone without exclusion.

During the course of watching the tone jump in and out of supernatural visions spliced with teen sitcom, the darkly dressed killer appears and hardly seems like a menacing presence. He's the run-of-the-mill slasher archetype where he can literally be anywhere to jump out out with cheap, short lived, shock theatrics; think of some of illogical physicalities done in "Jason Takes Manhattan" and you wouldn't be too far off. He intuitively knows what the victim's next moves are before they do, so what's the point and where are the building thrills? It also doesn't help that this has some of the cheesiest one-liners spoken from a killer in an attempt to personalize him when he does show up. Freddy Krueger could be both funny and condescending, though the guy here should have kept his mouth shut as it threw all fright factor out the window and made the laughs directed at him.

Rating: 4/10

Director: Wes Craven (The Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream)
Stars: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Emily Meade, Denzel Whitaker
Link: IMDB

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