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"MY SOUL TO TAKE"
(2010) (Max Thieriot, John Magaro) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Extreme Extreme Extreme Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Extreme Extreme Extreme None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Extreme Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: Seven small-town teenagers find their lives in danger 16 years to the day after they were born and when a local serial killer either died or disappeared.
PLOT:
Sixteen years ago, a husband and father suffering from multiple personalities named Abel (RAUL ESPARZA) was revealed to be the Riverton Ripper. After killing his wife and almost killing his young daughter, he was shot by police but subsequently escaped and disappeared. That same night, seven babies were born at an area hospital. And local legend has it that, if the Ripper died that night, one of the seven may harbor the Ripper's evil soul.

Flash forward 16 years later, and we meet each of these kids. Bug (MAX THIERIOT) is the creepy kid in school who may also be showing signs of early schizophrenia. Alex (JOHN MAGARO) is the chatty kid raised by an abusive stepfather. Penelope (ZENA GREY) is the religious girl who prefers to keep her soul prepared should the Ripper return. Brittany (PAULINA OLSZYNSKI) is the pretty girl in class who Bug has a crush on. Brandon (NICK LASHAWAY) is the school bully. Jerome (DENZEL WHITAKER) is a blind African-American kid everybody likes, while Jay (JEREMY CHU) is the Asian kid who lives out beyond the tracks.

One by one, these kids start dying in horribly violent ways. Blame is cast on Bug, especially when his sister Fang (EMILY MEADE) tells him that their mother, May (JESSICA HECHT), is really their aunt, and that their father was indeed the Ripper. Can the town cops, Paterson and Jeanne-Baptiste (FRANK GRILLO and DANAI GURIRA), put the pieces of the puzzle together in time?

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The film belongs to that subgenre Roger Ebert refers to as the Dead Teenager Movie, so interest among high schoolers will likely be high especially with Wes Craven of "Scream" and the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" directing.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong bloody violence, and pervasive language including sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MAX THIERIOT plays a 16-year-old boy who is tormented by visions of his dead friends and may or may not be showing signs of early schizophrenia. Unbeknownst to him, he is the son of an infamous serial killer and believes his aunt is really his mother. He is generally a fearful character, but can turn violent when provoked. He also uses much profanity.
  • JOHN MAGARO plays a chatty friend of Bug's who is bullied both at home by an abusive stepfather and at school by a jock who shares the same birthday as he does. The film toys with the notion that he may be a killer. He often prefers to do the opposite of things just to mess with people. So, if someone punches him, he thanks them and says it was really "enjoyable." He also uses a lot of profanity.
  • ZENA GREY plays a girl totally devoted to Jesus Christ and the Bible, who also shares a birthday with Bug that falls on the anniversary of the infamous Riverton Ripper disappearing or possibly dying.
  • NICK LASHAWAY plays the school bully who has impregnated the principal's daughter and tries to coerce another student into performing oral sex on him. He uses much profanity.
  • EMILY MEADE plays Bug's sister, who witnessed her mother's dead body and her father stabbing himself then turning his knife on her at an early age. She has reluctantly kept Bug's twisted heritage from him for years. She is a closet smoker and can be quite violent and profane when provoked.
  • JESSICA HECHT plays Bug's aunt who pretends to be his mother. She has hid the truth from her nephew that his mother was really killed by his father, who was an infamous serial killer that still may be alive.
  • FRANK GRILLO and DANAI GURIRA play cops who captured the Riverton Ripper years earlier only to lose him in an ambulance crash. They remain on the case and fear he has returned to complete his murders.
  • PAULINA OLSZYNSKI plays the pretty girl in school who shares the same birth date with the others. She is constantly hit on by Brandon and others.
  • DENZEL WHITAKER plays a blind, African-American classmate of Bug's who also shares the same birth date with the others.
  • JEREMY CHU plays another teen celebrating a birthday on the same day. His way home each day or night, though, takes him onto a small wooded bridge that may or may not be haunted the Riverton Ripper.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this horror-thriller that has been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 39 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. There's some sexually related dialogue (regarding oral sex) and one teen character is pregnant by another student.

    Violence consists of people -- mostly teenagers -- being stabbed, sliced, gutted, shot, punched, kicked, and generally manhandled. At least two throats are slit, with one resulting in death. Interestingly, there are at least three fairly major deaths that happen off-screen, two of which we see the bloody aftermath. Many of these deaths have bloody results. An opening sequence puts a very young girl in mortal danger at the hands of her deranged father. This girl also witnesses her mother lying dead and bloody in her bed and her father in a bathroom stabbing himself. This episode is alluded to via flashback later in the film.

    Bad attitudes are present throughout, as is much potentially imitative behavior and various thematic elements. One character smokes, and there is brief drinking and a scene of implied drinking.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, please read our more detailed review below.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, some sequences employ a shaky cam. But it's not to excess. In addition, some theaters are presenting the film in RealD 3-D.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Local teens gather late at night to kick off "Ripper Day." And while no alcoholic beverages are actually seen on screen, cops later say there was drinking involved.
  • Alex's stepfather drinks a beer while bullying his stepson.
  • Paterson makes mention of Jay being in a "12-step program" with him.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Abel discovers that he is in possession of a blood-stained knife belonging to a local serial killer. He feels the blade and gets blood on his hands.
  • Abel's wife is shown dead in bed with the sheets under her extremely bloody and a bloody abdomen wound visible for an instant.
  • Abel's young daughter watches as he stabs himself repeatedly on a bathroom floor. He is shirtless in the scene, and you see a lot of blood oozing from his abdomen and on the floor and walls of the bathroom.
  • Abel is severely bloodied after being shot repeatedly by the police. In his struggle with police, he shoots his psychiatrist in the head causing a brief blood spray.
  • A bloodied Abel slashes Jeanne-Baptiste across the throat, causing a bloody gash.
  • Paterson looks for Abel after their ambulance crashes, but all he finds is the man's bloody gurney.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jay bleeds profusely from his stomach after the Ripper or someone masquerading as the Ripper stabs him.
  • Alex's condor costume secretes fake vomit and urine onto Brandon.
  • The fake vomit and urine triggers a gag reflex in Bug, who almost vomits but doesn't.
  • Jeanne-Baptiste has a visible neck scar 16 years later from where the Ripper had slashed her.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Penelope bleeds profusely from her neck as the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper slits her throat from behind.
  • Brittany and then Brandon come across the bloody corpse of one of their friends.
  • Brittany appears to have a bloody coat as she runs through the woods.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Brandon is stabbed hard in the stomach by the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper. He bleeds from the stomach and then spits out a large amount of blood before dying.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Brittany is surprised by the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper, who lifts her off the ground and (off-camera) stabs or slashes her several times. We only see her feet dangling over her white purse and the ensuing blood spurts and related sound effects are heard as the killer cuts into her.
  • SPOILER ALERT: The police later find her bloodied corpse on the banks of a river.
  • Fang punches Bug hard in the face, causing blood to trickle out of both nostrils.
  • Bug sees a bloody Penelope in his bathroom mirror, motioning to him from "the other side."
  • SPOILER ALERT: We see Bug's aunt lying face down in a puddle of blood after being murdered off-screen.
  • SPOILER ALERT: The Riverton Ripper or someone posing as him sneaks up behind Paterson and stabs him in the back. The blade comes out Paterson's front and much blood is visible.
  • The Ripper and Bug square off in the house, with Bug getting slashed across both shoulder blades and the front, causing bloody wounds.
  • Alex has a bloody ear.
  • SPOILER ALERT: A dying Jerome falls out of Bug's closet and sports multiple bloody stab and slash wounds.
  • SPOILER ALERT Bug is able to stab the real killer through the stomach, resulting in some blood.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The killer obviously has a bad attitude.
  • Teenagers sneak out of their parents' homes to attend a special nighttime event that kicks off "Ripper Day."
  • Brandon puts down Penelope for her strong Christian beliefs.
  • As a diversion, Bug and Alex convince blind Jerome to knowingly wander into the girls' bathroom at school.
  • Bug and Alex conspire to put Bug's new, turned-on cell phone in the girls' bathroom and use it as a listening device to spy on Fang and Brittany.
  • As part of a yearly ritual, Brandon and his classmates force Bug to confront a scary Riverton Ripper puppet even though he is quite threatened.
  • Alex is bullied and put down by his overbearing stepfather, who threatens to "put a boot up" his behind if he doesn't obey him.
  • Brandon is referred to as the school bully, and indeed delights in randomly hitting and threatening Alex and Bug.
  • Brandon propositions Brittany to give him oral sex.
  • Brandon later asks Brittany if she has "time for that oral." Brittany leads Brandon on, telling him to count to 60, and then come find her in the woods where she has promised to perform oral sex on him.
  • Alex tells Bug he'd love to burn his house down with his stepfather in it.
  • Brandon refers to Alex's last name of "Dunkleman" as "Dumb-f*ckleman."
  • Alex's condor costume secretes fake vomit and urine onto Brandon.
  • Fang tells Brittany and another girlfriend that Bug is a "lunatic," has killed people, and been in and out of asylums. It's never made quite clear whether she is telling the truth or is just spreading innuendo.
  • Fang dismisses Brittany's possible feelings for Bug, says she thinks of him as a "retard."
  • Brandon sneaks up on an already on-edge Brittany and startles her.
  • Melanie says her father would think of her as a "laughingstock" if he found out she was impregnated by Brandon.
  • We learn via dialogue that Brandon once put Bug in a locker at school.
  • Bug blurts out to the principal that the latter's daughter is pregnant.
  • Brandon chases after Brittany in the woods, intending to get her back for leading him on.
  • SPOILER ALERT: The real killer tries to talk Bug into framing a dead Jerome for the murders and insists that Fang be killed, as well.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Abel's very young daughter finds her mother's bloodied corpse. She then finds her guilt-ridden father stabbing himself in the bathroom. She locks herself in a room, and Abel knocks hard on the door screaming that he will kill her if she doesn't open up. He breaks in and is just about to kill her when police intervene and shoot him.
  • Abel springs to life in the back of an ambulance and attacks two cops, causing the vehicle to careen out of control.
  • Bug comes face to face with a scary puppet version of the Riverton Ripper.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jay is stalked by a vicious assailant on a foggy bridge at night and ends up getting killed.
  • Penelope briefly thinks she saw the Ripper in the woods outside her classroom window.
  • Alex puts on a fairly scary condor costume, which he and Bug have crafted for a class project, and runs around a crowded classroom as Bug provides commentary on the bird's real-life feeding habits.
  • Bug looks in a bathroom mirror and sees Jay floating underwater imploring him for help.
  • Penelope hears a sound from the school's boiler room and goes to investigate. It soon becomes clear someone is stalking her. She goes back out to the school's indoor pool area, which is not empty, and is attacked from behind.
  • Brandon chases after Brittany in the woods, intending to get her back for leading him on.
  • Brandon is stalked in the woods by the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper, who calls him and tells him he is going to kill him and send him to Hell.
  • Brittany is stalked in the woods by the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper.
  • The Riverton Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper descends on Bug's house and stalks him, his aunt, his sister, and the cop Paterson through the house killing two of them (one off-screen). Bug and The Ripper have an extended fight with the lights off.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Abel discovers that he is in possession of a signature knife that a local serial killer has been using.
  • Paterson and other cops draw their handguns and shoot Abel before he can kill his young daughter.
  • A seemingly repentant Abel hoodwinks Paterson into coming close enough to where he can swipe his gun and, in an instant, shoot both the cop (who is wearing a bulletproof vest) and a psychiatrist.
  • Throughout the film, whenever we see Paterson and his cop colleagues, their holstered weapons are visible.
  • The Riverton Ripper or someone posing at the Ripper uses his signature knife throughout the film to stab, slash, and gut his victims. The knife has the word "Vengeance" inscribed on it.
  • Late in the film, Bug arms himself with the biggest knife he can find from his house's kitchen.
  • Paterson is the first to arrive on the scene of a murder at Bug's house and he draws his gun on Bug.
  • Bug eventually takes possession. of the gun and uses it to defend himself against a lightning-quick attacker that uses a knife.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck!" "Oh f*ck!" "F*ck you!" "F*ck you, too!" "You missed the kid, you f*ck," "This is for shut the f*ck up!" "Shut the f*ck up!" "That crazy f*ck," "Abso-f*cking-lutely!" "What the f*ck is that?" "Dumb-f*ckleman," "That felt f*cking great," "Are you f*cking kidding me?" "No, I am not f*cking kidding you," "I could f*cking feel it coming," "Hey, you f*cking bitch!" "F*ck you f*cking unborn child!" "I got stuck in a f*cking nightmare," "I knew that f*cker would come for us," "Jump that f*cker outside," "It feels f*cking great!" "You f*cking piece of sh*t," "Sh*t!" "Oh sh*t!" "You piece of sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "You act like you don't give a sh*t," "You couldn't feel sh*t," "You're too chicken sh*t," "I was a total sh*t to her," "You are officially bat-sh*t nuts!" "This is for you, you c*nt!" "Get in there, you p*ssy!" "G-damn it!" "Kick some ass and take some names," "He was kicking my ass," "Son of a bitch!" "Now, where did I leave your bitch?" "Open the door, you little bitch!" "Hey, ass-wipe. Take your little butt to school before I put a boot up it!" "Why the hell are the cops here?" "Rise up and guard your loins," "He's a lunatic," "Pervert," "Sasquatch," "She thinks he's a retard," and "Maggot."
  • Teenagers sneak out of their parents' homes to attend a special nighttime event that kicks off "Ripper Day" and then sneak back in before noticed.
  • Jay spits off a bridge because his grandma tells him it will bring him good luck.
  • Bug and Alex climb out Bug's second-story window to leave for school rather than going out the front door downstairs.
  • As a diversion, Bug and Alex convince blind Jerome to knowingly wander into the girls' bathroom at school.
  • Fang prefers the Goth look.
  • Bug and Alex conspire to put Bug's new, turned-on cell phone in the girls' bathroom and use it as a listening device to spy on Fang and Brittany.
  • Bug crafts a condor costume that can shoot fake vomit and urine.
  • Fang tells Brittany and another girlfriend that Bug is a "lunatic," has killed people, and been in and out of asylums. It's never made quite clear whether she is telling the truth or is just spreading innuendo.
  • Bug and Alex start repeating everything the other guy says and does.
  • Bug goes into the girls' bathroom to retrieve his phone.
  • Brandon sneaks up on an already on-edge Brittany and startles her.
  • We learn via dialogue that Brandon once put Bug in a locker at school.
  • Brandon later asks Brittany if she has "time for that oral." Brittany leads Brandon on, telling him to count to 60, and then come find her in the woods where she has promised to perform oral sex on him. Instead, she runs away, with him giving chase.
  • Brandon chases after Brittany in the woods, intending to get her back for leading him on.
  • Fang busts up her own bedroom in anger and frustration.
  • Bug hides under his bed and fools his aunt into thinking he climbed out his bedroom window.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Abel argues in a bathroom mirror with the voices in his head, and his wife suddenly runs up behind him and embraces him hard from behind.
  • A seemingly repentant Abel hoodwinks Paterson into coming close enough to where he can swipe his gun and, in an instant, shoot both the cop (who is wearing a bulletproof vest) and a psychiatrist.
  • Abel springs to life in the back of an ambulance and attacks two cops.
  • Bug closes his closet door to reveal Alex standing on the other side of the door.
  • Alex subsequently startles Bug a bit later at school by sneaking up behind a closed door.
  • Bug lifts his head up from a sink, looks in a bathroom mirror, and sees Jay floating underwater imploring him for help.
  • Later in the film, he looks into another bathroom mirror and sees dead Penelope who motions him to look in the sink and find the Ripper's knife.
  • SPOILER ALERT: A killer sneaks up from behind Penelope and slits her throat.
  • Brandon sneaks up on Brittany and startles her and the viewer.
  • SPOILER ALERT: A killer comes out of nowhere in the woods and stabs Brandon in the stomach before he can react.
  • SPOILER ALERT: The same killer also comes seemingly from out of nowhere and stabs or slashes Brittany to death.
  • Bug hears a sound in his house and startles himself (and us) by flicking open the Ripper's knife.
  • SPOILER ALERT: The Ripper comes up suddenly and quickly from behind Paterson and stabs him in the back.
  • As The Ripper or someone posing as The Ripper stalks Bug through a darkened house, he lunges out several times at the boy from the darkness. On the final occasion, Bug and Fang have holed themselves up inside a hallway closet, and the killer comes crashing through the door.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of loud, scary, and often foreboding music occurs throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 39 "f" words, 15 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("c*nt" and "p*ssy"), 5 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 1 hell, and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We learn that Brandon has impregnated Melanie, the principal's teenage daughter. The term used on a couple of occasions is "knocked up."
  • Brandon propositions Brittany to give him oral sex.
  • Brittany responds by telling him her dog will "bite it off," with "it" being the boy's penis.
  • Alex boasts to Brandon that he had sex with his mother (just a schoolyard insult, he really didn't).
  • Penelope urges Brandon to "rise up and guard your loins."
  • Brandon later asks Brittany if she has "time for that oral." Brittany leads Brandon on, telling him to count to 60, and then come find her in the woods where she has promised to perform oral sex on him. Instead, she runs away, with him giving chase.
  • SMOKING
  • Fang smokes in the girls' bathroom at school.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Abel suffers from split personalities and schizophrenia. When taking on the persona of the Riverton Ripper, he kills his pregnant wife (off-screen).
  • Abel's very young daughter finds her mother's bloodied corpse. She then finds her guilt-ridden father stabbing himself in the bathroom. She locks herself in a room, and Abel knocks hard on the door screaming that he will kill her if she doesn't open up. He breaks in and is just about to kill her when police intervene and shoot him.
  • Alex is bullied and put down by his overbearing stepfather, who threatens to "put a boot up" his behind if he doesn't obey him.
  • Alex tells Bug he'd love to burn his house down with his stepfather in it.
  • Melanie confesses to Penelope that she has not told her mother she is pregnant and that she expects her father to call her the school "laughingstock" once word gets out that Brandon is the father.
  • Bug blurts out to the principal that the latter's daughter is pregnant.
  • Late in the film, we come to learn that Fang is the little girl from the beginning of the movie that saw her parents killed/maimed. She blames Bug, who was cut out of their dead mother soon after her death, for being the "miracle baby" who has been shielded from the family horror -- i.e. that their father was a serial killer -- for years while she's had to deal with it. She punches him repeatedly and kicks him as she is laying on these revelations.
  • Bug learns that who he thought was his mother is actually his aunt and that he is the son of the Riverton Ripper, who murdered his real mother.
  • Alex confesses to Bug that he killed his stepfather.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Serial killers.
  • Schizophrenia and multiple-personality disorder.
  • Parents who kill or try to kill their own children.
  • Wes Craven horror films and the similar elements that run through many of them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Abel discovers that he has stabbed his wife to death (he suffers from split personality disorder). The killing happens off-screen, but he finds her corpse in their bed.
  • Abel's young daughter watches as he stabs himself repeatedly on a bathroom floor with a knife.
  • Just as Abel is about to stab his daughter to death, Paterson and other cops bust in to the master bedroom and shoot Abel. Abel fools Paterson and Dr. Blake into letting their guard down, and he seizes the cop's gun, shoots Paterson (who is wearing a bulletproof vest) and then the psychiatrist before being shot again.
  • Still alive, Abel is being transported to a hospital when he springs to life in the back of the ambulance, slashes Jeanne-Baptiste's throat (non-fatal) and causes the ambulance to careen out of control. The survivors of the wreck crawl out of the thrashed ambulance only to find Abel has gotten out of his restraints.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jay has his head slammed twice against the metal side of a bridge and then stabbed in the stomach by the Ripper or someone masquerading as the Ripper.
  • Alex's stepfather punches him in the stomach, sending him to the floor.
  • Brandon punches both Bug and Alex in front of the school.
  • After spraying him with fake condor vomit and urine, Brandon tackles Alex and punches and kicks him repeatedly.
  • Bug slips while standing on a toilet and hits his chin on the lid.
  • We learn via dialogue that Brandon once put Bug in a locker at school.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Penelope is grabbed from behind at the school's indoor swimming pool and has her throat slit.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Brandon is stabbed hard in the stomach by the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Brittany is surprised by the Ripper or someone posing as the Ripper, who lifts her off the ground and (off-camera) stabs or slashes her several times. We only see her feet dangling over her white purse and the ensuing blood spurts and related sound effects are heard as the killer cuts into her.
  • Fang is slapped hard across the face by her aunt.
  • Fang punches Bug hard in the face, sending him to the ground. She then hits and kicks him again and again.
  • Fang then violently busts up her own bedroom, prompting Bug to come in and destroy a wooden rocking horse Fang had given him as a birthday gift.
  • Alex confesses to killing his own father by accident, causing him to fall down stairs and break his neck.
  • SPOILER ALERT: We see Bug's aunt lying face down in a puddle of blood after being murdered off-screen.
  • SPOILER ALERT: The Riverton Ripper or someone posing as him sneaks up behind Paterson and stabs him in the back. The blade comes out Paterson's chest and much blood is visible. Paterson slumps and dies.
  • The Ripper and Bug then scuffle around the darkened house with the killer manhandling Bug and slashing him at least three times, causing non-life-threatening wounds. Bug smashes a vase over the killer's head, enabling Fang to escape the house, run next door, and call the police. Eventually, a sound upstairs prompts the Ripper to stop himself from killing Bug and run up the steps.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jerome is found severely bloodied and dying in the closet of Bug's room, having been attacked by the Ripper and stabbed and slashed repeatedly.
  • SPOILER ALERT: After a brief scuffle in which Bug is roughed up pretty hard, Bug is able to stab and kill the real murderer.



  • Reviewed October 8, 2010 / Posted October 8, 2010

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