My Soul to Take (2010) has an interesting brother/sister relationship/dynamic that is worth mentioning. It also features Max Thieriot who was in a incestuous movie I previously talked about, The House at the End of the Street. He is also in Bates Motel, Family Tree, and going to be in Yellow, all with incestuous themes.
This film was brought to my attention after I saw a wonderful post on it (that is much more thorough and far more awesome than mine) on my friend Astrid’s blog. Of course I had to watch it the second I got the chance. I finally got to it yesterday. I thought all in all it was still a good thriller/horror film despite some weak links.
A serial killer returns to his hometown to stalk seven children who share the same birthday as the date he was allegedly put to rest.
This was a movie I ignored once it was released back in 2010. I don’t know what put me off about it. I love Craven films and horror movies in general. I guess it just didn’t look too special judging from the synopsis.
“My Soul to Take” is the first film of horror master Wes Craven’s in which he’s been both the writer and director since 1994′s “New Nightmare.” That is probably why a lot of fans were disappointed with this release, they just expected something earth shattering from Wes and not a bad attempt to rehash a bit of Craven’s earlier work; “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), and maybe even a dash or two of “Scream.”
The film stars Max Thieriot (The House at the End of the Street, Bates Motel) as the protagonist Adam “Bug” Hellerman, who is one of seven teenagers chosen to die. I thought Max was good in his role, he always does well with playing innocent/psycho all at the same time as he previously demonstrated in The House At The End of The Street.
The film deals heavily with the subject of multiple personality disorder, but sometimes it feels more I am watching Lord of the Rings and Max Theiriot’s character of Bug/Adam is Gollum!
It is more elaborated on in extend scene that his sister Fang/Leah probably also has multiple personalities. We already know she goes by Fang at school (and is like a different person) then the Leah she is when she is at home.
Some other aspects of the film are not explained that clearly and sometimes get confusing, there are a lot of unanswered questions. I got so confused in fact that I too started talking to myself before I started writing this review! Why does Bug/Adam imitate and mimic the living, not just people who have already died?
The film has an ongoing bird analogy, but it wasn’t used as much as maybe it should have been. There could have been an interesting Crow type dynamic here. Bug is fascinated by the California condor being an eater of souls and the myths surrounding them. He sees himself as one, especially at the end. His back gets scraped up in the pattern of wings (very cool).
I loved some parts of it, but a lot of it was more confusing then anything. I hated the costume the killer wore, and some of the death scenes were just awkward and seemed very low budget. They were also even unnecessary, the film would have worked better as being just a thriller instead of trying to make it a teen slasher too. The storyline about souls going into a body has been done countless times so it didn’t really add anything new to the genre.
I think this could have been a great film, but it was almost like it had too much going on. Alex and his step father, the bird analogy, the psycho father, Adam/Bug’s problems – all wrapped into some kind of slasher rip off. That being said it did have some moments where I screamed very loud so it does have some scares!
I enjoyed the multiple personality aspects of both the brother and his sister. Just them talking to themselves and each other would have been enough of a film for me without the stupid costume the killer wore and all the unnecessary plot points and killings.
Ok, onto the brother/sister relationship and the interesting points.
- Her name is Leah (Star Wars anyone?)
- They are the only survivors
- There is a delayed time span in announcing they are brother and sister
- Fang doesn’t want her friend dating him or even liking him. In this bathroom scene she goes further to say that “girls find him attractive.”
- He has a crush on one of her friends.
- There are various times when he says “Thanks fang, that felt good.”
- She beats the shit out of him – showing aggressively the conflict she feels inside?
Fang says to her aunt “somebody’s got to bust his cherry.” Now she doesn’t mean sexually, she is referring to telling him of his dark family history (breaking his mind’s innocence), but interesting choice of phrase.
“You killed us, Bug. You didn’t mean to, but we haven’t really been alive since the day you were born. Not as ourselves. Plenkov kids.” Hopefully now they will get to be their true selves. They’ve been living a lie for the last 16 years. Perhaps this is also saying they have lied about how they really feel about one another.
Other then the whole rationale behind souls going into Bug/Adam and his friend being the killer, other things I didn’t understand was: Why did Leah wait so long to tell him who he really was? Surely it was eating her up inside. This could also be why she beat him up, to get all that anger out she has been holding in for so many years. Was keeping it a secret her way of protecting him? I would like to think so.
Also interesting to note that the whole film has a religious theme, the title itself is from a psalm. I might be going overboard here but it could have something to do with the incestuous tones as well.
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