My Soul to Take ★★★★★

still confused at why this isn't considered a late period horror masterpiece, only reason i can think of is the cruelty on display but the film is far from being devoid of humanity or empathy, there is strong emotional resonance in the protagonist's arc of both grappling with his sanity and his family, and a scene with his mother had me on the verge of tears. grief and tragedy are two central motifs here, and how the actions of the past can forever shape the events of the future. these seven are defined by their relation to something they had no control over, and many of them die because of this, they didn't have a choice about how their lives ended or even existed. there's a quote from a video i watched recently which says "he wasn't a good person but he had less choice in choosing what type of person he could be" in relation to how the despair and abuse this person suffered in their youth forever changed how they are and how they treat others, and there is similar stuff here, regarding most of the central characters here, but more literal. they cannot escape their trauma and one of them is literally controlled by the personification of it. every character chooses a different way to cope with this world but all are destined to be trapped in this cyclical state of violence and sadism. there is certainly cruelty shown, the deaths are nasty and some scenes are acidic and malicious, at one point the killer asks one of the victims who he wants to say goodbye, the victim responds with "my unborn child" and the killer says with an intense harshness and glee "fuck your fucking unborn child" before brutally murdering him. the blood is plentiful and the pain is constant but the humanity is still there, somewhere. and even if it wasn't, excessive cruelty and brutality without purpose is truly terrifying, the fear of someone with no hesitations and no humanity, just the desire for broken mutilated flesh and the anguished cries of the sufferers. one of the definitive horror films of the millennium

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