My Soul to Take ★★★

My Soul to Take collapses almost entirely in its last quarter, but before it does, its stylized, off-kilter depiction of teen habits and hang-ups provides the same skewed pleasures as the distantly observed portraits of youth culture seen in Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream, all horror movies that benefit from an attitude of mildly befuddled sympathy for adolescent angst at its most touchingly and conventionally damned. It's this perspective, reflective of a clumsy but gracious humanism, that grants a measure of integrity to Wes Craven's penultimate movie even when it disintegrates into incoherence. So we get a teenage born again Christian who's no scold or dingbat, just a sweet eccentric, and even the requisite jock bully reveals an incidental emotional vulnerability that proves curiously affecting. As a piece of storytelling, the movie's flawed almost to the point of wretchedness, but Craven's commitment to granting a touch of consistent nobility to even the haziest sketch of a character makes it an honorable shambles of a movie.