My Soul to Take ★★★

Destined to become a source of awe and wonder in ten years, which is not the same as being beloved. But it is too weird and in the filmography of a director too respected to be ignored.

Weirdly, Craven seems to have stumbled upon one of the only compelling HD digital aesthetics in contemporary horror his first time working with the medium. Most good looking horror films these days just error on the side of imitating celluloid, but the difference between the looks of this and Cursed are night and day, and this looks way better. Craven leans into the coldness of digital photography, goes a bit too gaudy (check out those hot post-production zooms and pans during the downstairs Ripper fight) but comes out the other side with a truly creepy and cool look.

Of course, the real reason this is destined for a cult status is it's insane first half. Craven is truly off his leash here, with a semi-adaptation of his unpublished college thesis novel, and you get the idea that no one gave him any script notes at all. Was this greenlit as a favor of some sort? The main character of Bug is one of the most baffling ever, Craven's interest in operatic examinations of heroes journeys is laid more bare than ever, the dialogue is totally idiosyncratic, you can never ever guess what's going to happen next (sometimes even if you've already seen it), and then there's the structure.

The reason this will probably never be the camp classic the first half implies is because of the second half. The third act of this movie is nearly an hour long, takes place in four different rooms of a single house, and mostly consists of characters delivering exposition, often exposition of events we the audience already know about. It's one of the weirdest anti-climaxes I've ever seen, but as baffling as it is it isn't nearly as interesting as the first half.

Shout out to the moonwalking cartoon condor in the closing credits. What the shit. B-

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