By Brett Mullins
Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take is a spooky slasher film that is consistant with Craven’s recent work in regards to its cynicism toward itself and the horror genre.
Able is a seemingly harmless, schizophrenic man who slaughters several individuals and escapes without a trace. The same night, seven children are born prematurely in the town of Riverton. Sixteen years later, Able’s rampage grown into local lore deeming him ‘The Ripper.’ People begin to disappear again on ‘Ripper Day’ with no logical explanation.
Though the above synopses is rather vague, it accurately describes the ambiguity of the film. Craven keeps the audience guessing by continually releasing several bits of plot twisting devices once the film points toward a reasonable villain. While this does make the atmosphere fun and interesting, it leaves the audience feeling slightly cheated because revelations continue into the final few minutes of the film. I thought this absurdity was only allowed in the Saw franchise!
It’s almost as if Craven is overly cynical toward every aspect of the film: the characters, the plot, the genre, and even the audience. Instead of keeping the audience guessing, it appears that he is illustrating our willingness to guess, even when faced with absurd circumstances. This leaves the question of whether Craven is some crazy trickster or if he’s angry with the audience and the genre.