So dig this, there's this guy, and one night he realizes that he's the elusive serial killer everyone's been looking for, only he didn't know because he has multiple personalities or multiple souls or something, whatever, so he kills his pregnant wife and his shrink and some other people and the cops think they kill him but never find the body. So don't worry about that, now it's 16 years later in the same town, and all the local kids who were born on the same night the killer died (or did he?) are all part of some local legend about how maybe one day the killer will come back and only they can stop them. Got that? Okay, because now the important part is that one of those kids is an awkward social outcast who is obsessed with birds who builds a bird costume for a class project that projectile vomits and shits on his enemies, and also he's got a crush on some bitchy girl at school and he and his best friend get into a bunch of goofy shenanigans trying to find out if she likes him. Only, now he's having weird psychic premonitions and he starts uncontrollably adopting other people's personality traits, and then some weirdo in a Halloween costume is going around killing all the kids born on the same day because, um, actually I'm not clear on that part but....
You get my point. Wes Craven's My Soul To Take is something else. To steal a memorable phrase Roger Ebert used when discussing the Cory Haim/Gary Busey werewolf movie Silver Bullet, this is either the worst horror movie I've seen, or the funniest. Craven has certainly displayed an offbeat sense of humor in some of his films, so I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. Obviously some of it is supposed to be funny, I don't think the shitty bird costume was supposed to be taken seriously, for instance. But, no, I honestly suspect this was along the lines of Shocker or Deadly Friend, a seriously misguided project conceived in all earnestness, with hilarious results. On the upside, I think this might be the best of its kind since I Know Who Killed Me.
My Soul to Take has enough plot for 5 silly horror movies, which it hurtles through at breakneck pace. It veers heedlessly from violent horror film to goofy teen satire, and passes through melodrama, whodunit and camp along the way. When we finally get to the explanation of the killer's motives at the end of the film, it has so many threads to tie up, delivered in a breathless monologue that I honestly have no idea what the hell it meant.
In good way, I promise you, if you're into this kind of thing. I expect I'll be buying the Blu Ray when it comes out.
Grade: This is a tough one. It is kinda terrible, and also wildly entertaining, and what's good and bad about it are so helplessly intertwined that I have to just give up trying to judge it and admit that, good or bad, I had a lot of fun. Call it a "B" movie.