My Soul to Take ★★

Jesus, I sure haven't been watching many movies lately. Roswell happened (long story), and then Twin Peaks happened again... and then I break it with this? Baby steps.

One of the last couple Wes Craven films I had not seen, My Soul To Take was written for a demographic that I felt too distant from to be interested. But I'm a completist, so here we are. I think a big part of the problem that the population over 35 has with "Millennials" is that the portrayals of them are largely crafted by men over 35 who are perplexed by a youth that is necessarily experiencing a different world differently than they did. Wes Craven, in this case, is one of those men. I'm not faulting him for trying to stay relevant, but it doesn't work here. When I was a teenager, I thought that all movies about teenagers should be made by teenagers, movies about twenty-somethings should be made by twenty-somethings, et cetera. But there is definitely an awareness and understanding that one only gains after exiting an era, which makes for clearer, more poignant storytelling. I wouldn't dare write a sincere script about present-day teenagers at my age, and Wes probably should not have attempted the feat at 70.

There is a serial killer with multiple personality disorder (misdiagnosed as schizophrenia in the movie), and he is a goddamn killing machine. The beginning of the movie crosses the line into satire as the killer just keeps coming back from apparent death to continue killing. I didn't think it was ever going to stop. Then, 16 years later, a bunch of kids who were born on that day are getting killed and the idea is that one of the group is the carrier of the killer's soul. The more I think about the characters, the more I think I may have been too hard on Wes in my initial judgment. The Bug character is sincere, if a bit too cartoon-y to be believable. The school bully is pretty believable. The Fang character is poorly written, but nicely acted by Emily Meade. Of particular interest to me was Jessica Hecht as the mother. I enjoyed seeing her as someone other than Susan.

Wes made a career out of movies about teenagers, come to think of it... he did it well for a long time. I want to know how into this movie he was, if he really believed in it, or if he was just working. Everyone has to just make some money sometimes, and we don't generally judge them (or ourselves) as harshly as we judge filmmakers.

I'm wrong all of the time and I know it. That's the difference between me and people who are more annoying than me. But I digress.