Abel Plenkov is a man with a severe case of multipe-personality disorder, with one of his personas being that of the Ripper, a merciless killer who has been terrorizing the small town of Riverton. One night, Plenkov's evil persona takes control of him, forcing him to murder his pregnant wife as well as his psychiatrist before he's finally killed by the police after his double-life is uncovered. Sixteen years later, "Ripper Day" is being celebrated by the Riverton Seven, a group of teenagers who were born at the exact moment that the Ripper died that night. They take part in a tradition of driving away the Ripper's evil spirit at the site where he was killed but, when this year's ceremony is interrupted by the police, who've been informed that Ripper Day is no longer a holiday, it seems as though this allows the vengeful killer to return from the dead and prey on the Riverton Seven. The following day, Adam "Bug" Hellerman, the most emotionally troubled member of the group, struggles not only with his personal problems but with a bizarre, mob-like scenario at his school where the jocks are ordered to beat on other kids. As the murders continue and appear to influence his personality, it eventually culminates in Bug discovering that not only has the Ripper actually returned but also that he has a personal connection to the killer that many in the town have known of but never told him. However, does that mean that the Ripper is getting his revenge through Bug or is he doing it through someone close to him?
One other thing I have to comment on before we really dive into the meat of this review is the fact that this movie was converted to 3-D when it was released. Why?! I can understand why movies like the remake of Piranha that came out a couple of months before this was converted to 3-D because that type of film lends itself to it (and, from what I hear, actually worked rather well too), but My Soul To Take? I get that the only real reason they did it was because 3-D was becoming annoyingly popular around this time but still, why convert this type of movie to 3-D and then do absolutely nothing with it? And I mean that last part literally because, watching this on Blu-Ray, I don't see anything in this movie that seemed as if it took advantage of the 3-D. Nothing is thrown at the camera or anything like that, and while there may have been some atmospheric 3-D, like some depth being added to the background, I doubt that it would have been all that impressive. Also, the opening title is as uncreative and generic as you can get, just being white letters on a black background and simply popping up, staying onscreen for a few seconds, and then disappearing in a single cut. It doesn't even come at the camera like the titles of Friday the 13th Part 3 and Jaws 3 did either, giving no indication whatsoever that this was shown in 3-D, and there are also no other opening credits, so it's almost like that title was just an afterthought. All I can say is that I feel bad for the poor people who paid their money to see this in 3-D because it sounds like it was a massive rip-off. Hell, I can tell just from looking at the movie itself that, if I had seen it in the theater, I would have been absolutely miserable, so I can't imagine having to sit through it in 3-D!
|Where's Christine when you need her?|
I wish I could say that's the extent of the film's odd fascination with the condor but I'd be lying. It also serves as a bizarre tie between Bug and Alex, with Alex calling Bug, "Condor," and Bug calling him, "Crow." At one point early on, Alex even tells Bug, "You're a condor. You eat death for breakfast. Remember that." And according to Bug, he calls Alex "Crow" because crows are guardians or something of the like, which he mentions when they're walking through the woods near his house and he points to this fake crow sitting on a tree branch (somehow, ravens got thrown into the mix as well but I'm not even going to attempt to figure out that significance). Hell, there's even a scene where Alex is watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds on TV (another awesome flick that I didn't want mentioned in this awful movie) and since it's the scene where the crows attack the school-children, it prompts him to say out loud how they have a higher score than the humans. And finally, there's the ending, where Bug is forced to kill Alex in order to get rid of the Ripper once and for all. After he does so, they have that odd Condor and Crow banter again and after Alex dies, Bug says, "Fly now. I know you're up there, and I know we're down here." (?) He ends the movie with a speech that begins thusly: "I am the condor. The Keeper of the Souls. I eat death for breakfast." I kind of get that significance since the souls of the victims did go into Bug, and I also kind of get the whole crow thing since Alex was more or less Bug's guardian, teaching him how to "be a man" or something similar, so maybe it does make sense in some weird way. But, the manner in which Craven gives it to you is just vague and bizarre and we're never given a concrete reason as to why they call each other Condor and Crow other than to have some way for the condor's mythology to fit into the plot. A little exposition on why they started doing that (perhaps it's tied to something that happened to them when they were kids), would have been helpful. Even though you can figure a little bit of it out in hindsight like I just did, it still makes you scratch your head, particularly with what Bug said to Alex after he died (I still don't get that at all). And just to confound you even more, Craven places the first section of the ending credits over a weird animated backdrop involving condors flying over the town, scratching up the screen, and so on (I swear, one of the condors did something similar to the Moon Walk!) I don't know about you but when I went into a movie called My Soul To Take, I didn't expect all of this hullabaloo about condors, particularly an animated ending credits sequence devoted to them!
If you come away from this feeling that I didn't put as much effort into this review as I normally do, I apologize. Here's the thing: when a movie is this generic, confusing, and bland, you tend to lose interest in it very quickly and before long, you're barely paying attention to it and just wishing that it would end. My Soul To Take is a perfect example of how excruciatingly boring a movie can get when you don't care about any of the characters, their conflicts, what's going on with the plot as a whole, and so on. I wasn't kidding when I said at the beginning that I would probably get a lot of details in this movie wrong simply because I was barely paying attention to it when I watched it again for this review. I tried. God knows I tried! But I just found it impossible to stay focused on what was going on or being said (I turned on the subtitles just so I could actually see what was being said since so much of it is spoken so quickly and that hardly helped!) This movie is so boring to talk about that, when I was in the middle of writing this review, I accidentally did something that about caused me to have a heart attack. I don't know what I did but I hit some button that deleted the entire fucking review! Yeah, somehow I ended up deleting all of that excruciating effort in one clumsy stroke andI almost went postal because I did not want to rewrite this whole damn thing again. Fortunately, though, Blogspot has an Undo and Redo button which enabled me to recover what I had deleted but man, I almost decided right then and there, "Well, then, this review just won't see the light of day. I'm not talking about this bullshit again!" And believe me, telling you about that near fatal incident was a lot more entertaining than talking about My Soul To Take itself. The good thing is that there's not much more I can say, so I can begin wrapping things up but, bottom line, this review, and that near catastrophe in particular, has probably taken a few years off my life.
I don't have a damn thing to say about the music score by Marco Beltrami. I literally don't remember a single tune from this entire movie; it's all just generic horror music that runs together, with no distinct themes at all. Beltrami tends to be a fairly hit and miss composer anyway. Except for Music of the Heart, he scored every one of Craven's films from the original Scream on and, while I do like a lot of the music that he composed for those films (a lot of his score for the first Scream was put into Halloween H2O as well), I wouldn't say that they're iconic. The same goes for his score for other stuff like Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: it's fairly good and fits the images that it's put to but it's not something you'll be humming to yourself afterward. Weirdly enough, though, I do really like the score he made for the 2011 prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing, one of many aspects of that film that a lot of people despise. In short, Beltrami is the guy that you call when you want music that simply fits your visuals well; otherwise, there's nothing that special about his work. But, man, the score he did for this sucked just as bad as the movie itself. I can't even call it forgettable because that says that there was actually something there to forget. Like the movie, it's just a whole lot of nothing.
The songs on the soundtrack suck even worse than the score in my opinion and the reason I say that is because they're not only annoying but they're also the types of songs that particularly grate on your nerves when you're not enjoying the viewing experience, as was the case with me. There's actually a song called Fang's Gang by Danny Saber that plays in the scene where Fang and her lackeys are walking towards the girls' bathroom: cheesy, stupid, and makes the movie even more obnoxious than it already was. Even worse is the song that plays over the first part of the ending credits, which I think is Everything Touches Everything by Jesse Elliott. Whatever that song is, I find it to be very, very annoying. Imagine watching this bizarre, animated sequence involving condors while this song that constantly repeats the lyrics, "I am a man, I am a man!" plays over it. It's so bad and is quite possibly the perfect way to cap off an infuriating movie like this. And finally, another song by Elliott called I Want You To Keep Everything plays out the credits. I don't remember anything about that song either except it was another one that seemed to be saying, "Ha ha, you just wasted nearly two hours of your life on this piece of garbage!" There are other songs on the soundtrack but those are the ones that stuck out to me.