Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Soul to Take

Whose is It?

It's been some 5 years since Wes Craven directed Red Eye, and more than 10 years since his last writing-directing duties with New Nightmare. Responsible for creating iconic horror franchises such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, I suppose it'll take a while to shake off the rust coming out of inactivity, and it shows in his latest offering My Soul to Take, at best a mediocre affair to come out from the mind of the horror meister. As the saying goes, form is temporary and class is permanent, so hopefully he'll be back in his class when he brings to us the next installment of the Scream franchise.

The starting was jarring to say the least, but I felt it showcased its potential to shake things up with a very literal take at a split personality disorder, revealing a mild mannered family man to be a town's serial killer who just wouldn't die, and his near invincibility (really designed to make you jump, and brings to mind an exhaustive never-say-die attitude) and mysterious disappearance set tongues wagging and elevating his cult status into an urban legend. At that faithful hour where he vanished from the cops, seven children are born in the town, who celebrate their collective birthdays with a ritual to shoo the boogie-man away.

But when one by one they start to die, something seems to suggest revenge is in the air and the limit's reached from their constant buffoonery as we follow the viewpoint from Bug (Max Thieriot), with twists and red herring openly thrown about. The film wastes its interesting premise and set up, providing very rote plot development that is as close to convenient as can be. It's yet another guess-who's-the-reincarnated-villain with illogical loopholes abound, where Craven prefers to disorientate the viewer with plenty of jump cuts and quick editing to reflect the state of mind of the characters in question.

In the USofA this was screened in the 3D version, and frankly it spelt of yet another run of the mill jumping on the bandwagon attempt with post-production conversion, but the question is conversion of what. There is absolutely nothing here in the film that warranted a pop into your eye visual, and frankly this reeks since it was never designed with 3D in mind. With its bad box office returns, hopefully, and sorry to Craven, that this be another expensive lesson to the studios who make such poor, desperate decisions.

While you may be eager to run out the cinema hall when the end credits roll, probably the best bit of the movie happens then where you can gawk at 2 sets of storyboard panels of major scenes running on opposite sides of the screen.

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