Now you lay you down to sleep...
My Soul to Take is aesthetically pleasing, well performed, but narratively autistic. It’s hard to tell if the problem is at script level or if it occurred during the editing process, but this film is hard to follow. It’s a complicated story from a writer and director who knows better. He’s made pictures with much greater gimmicks and simpler synopses. Has Wes Craven finally run out of ideas?
He is borrowing bits from his most popular work: Shocker, Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The killer doesn’t have a cool costume or a creative M.O. Also, this movie isn’t particularly set for a franchise. It’s made skillfully but it possesses no ambiance, no rhythm and it relies too much on flashbacks because it’s afraid we won’t “get it”. And rightfully so… it’s incomprehensible.
The film’s greatest flaw is that it contains two dark introductions. By the time things get brighter and characters get exposition, you’re already twenty minutes in. And even then, things are somewhat sinister. For a story involving teenagers, this is rather nihilistic. What’s more, the supernatural aspect is way too convoluted. We constantly get the impression we've missed crucial information.