A seemingly immortal killer stalks a group of teenagers in a sleepy suburb before slicing them to bits.
How about if I told you that the idea belonged to a certain Wes Craven.
Think you’ve figured it out yet?
Wrong. It’s just a new slasher film which utilises many common horror mechanisms for your viewing pleasure. This is My Soul to Take.
Abel Plainkoff is a man with multiple personailities (one of which is particularly evil) who turns out to be a serial killer, which is news to him. As he realises this and calls his therapist for help, the dark side of him takes full control and attempts to kill his pregnant wife and young daughter.
Police arrive just in time to save the little girl, but the mother isn’t so lucky. Abel gets shot and sent to hospital, restrained (because he just won’t die) but somewhere along the line he escapes and disappears.
16 years later, and a large group of teens gather at the spot where the killer vanished. 7 of the group share a birthday, which happens to be the anniversary of when Plainkoff’s killing spree was put to an end.
But their taunting and trivialising of the event seems to awaken something, and the following day it looks like the psychopath is back from the grave to continue his murderous rampage, starting with the 7 kids who were born on that same fateful night.
Cue lots of screaming teenagers and plenty of blood and flashing blades.
My Soul to Take is a mash-up of a bunch of films. Although it is often the case that films are influenced by others, it has been a while since a film has made it quite so obvious where it takes its inspiration from.
Imagine you have a movie making couldron. Throw in a large lump of A Nightmare on Elm Street for the general theme and a particular boiler room chase scene; a dash of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 for a paranoid male teenage lead; A sprinkle of Halloween for the relentless, masked, knife-weilding murderer; a tablespoon of Friday the 13th for a woodland scene; a cup of Scream to bind it all together and a pinch of Final destination to add that certain je ne sais quoi.
That about does it.
It might sound like an uninteresting recipe. Perhaps one that you’ve consumed too many times before, but with the ingredients balanced right, it’s actually surprisingly good.
Wes Craven has been in the game for years so it’s no wonder that this latest offering is a solid one.
Today’s teenage audiences would struggle to find something else of this calibre at the moment. It’s a film that would give many of its older peers a run for their money too as it takes the elements that made Craven famous and shakes off some impurities present in the 80’s classics: The acting is good. Scripting tight. Story, a little far fetched, but fun. And the pace of the whole thing is spot on.
Special effects are modest and don’t go much further than what you would have seen in a film of this type 20 years ago, which is comforting. After a glut of computer enhanced movies over recent times it’s nice that some still appreciate that sometimes the old fashioned effects can do the job adequately.
Yes, My Soul to Take IS predictable. And you will find yourself ticking off the lists of ‘cliche’s’ and ‘victims’ as you watch.
But if you’re looking for a good old fashioned teenage horror movie, then this is a fine example.
My Soul to Take is out on Blu Ray and DVD from 4th April.