My Soul to Take

  • Review Date: October 7, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Lots of bloody slashing in Wes Craven's violent chiller.
  • Review Date: October 7, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 107 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although you could argue that the movie has a subtle message about growing up, any positive take-away is lost amid the brutal slayings.

Positive role models

In the movie's first scene, Bug cowers during a ritual that's supposed to test his bravery. He also takes a beating from the school bully. But over the course of the film, he learns confidence and responsibility; first he pretends these things, but eventually -- after learning more about his childhood -- they come naturally and truthfully. In the end, he's a kind of hero.


This slasher movie is filled with plenty of slicing, dicing, and stabbing with lots of sharp instruments. Several teens, a pregnant woman, and others fall under the killer's blade, with gallons of blood and gore on display. (The killer even tries to stab himself in one scene.) There's also a car crash, an explosion, and some other frightening imagery. A stepfather punches his teen son in the stomach, and a woman slaps a teen girl's face.


Viewers learn that a 16-year-old boy has impregnated a 15-year-old girl. Nothing is shown, but the incident is discussed. Two characters enter the woods with the possible intention of having sex, but nothing happens. Teens are shown having crushes on one another, but it doesn't go much further (no kissing, flirting, etc.).


Many uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "c--t," "p---y," "hell," "goddamn," "damn," "ass," "butt," "Jesus," "asshole," "oh my God," and "bitch."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An adult drinks a beer; references to drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this supernatural slasher about a serial killer who may have returned from the dead is full of slicing and dicing, with gallons of blood on display. There are also two instances in which adults hit teens. Language is quite strong, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t." There are some sexual situations, including one involving teen pregnancy, but not much is shown onscreen. Most of the lead characters are 16, and the movie is being presented in 3-D (which, of course, makes everything that much more intense), so it's primed for teen consumption.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In the small town of Riverton, a killer ("The Riverton Ripper") went on a rampage and slashed up several victims with a hunting knife. The very moment he died in an ambulance crash, seven children were simultaneously born in a nearby hospital. Sixteen years later, on the anniversary of that day, the teens still talk about the killer -- and about the possibility that he might return from the dead to kill again. Lo and behold, more killings begin, and this time, the seven teens appear to be the targets (as well as anyone else who gets in the way). A teen nicknamed "Bug" (Max Thieriot), who seems to be at the center of everything, begins hearing the voices and seeing images all of the souls around him. When he learns a terrible secret about his childhood, he discovers that he's a lot closer to the killings than he ever expected.

Is it any good?


Wes Craven wrote and directed MY SOUL TO TAKE, and he proves that although he might not be the most gifted scribe in the world, he's still a highly skilled director with a unique visual style and an aptitude for planting potential scares everywhere you look. His story of a possibly supernatural serial killer doesn't always make sense; sometimes the souls of living people speak through the teen hero, Bug, as opposed to dead ones. And the connection between souls and killings is never quite clear.

But the silly story can be forgiven. Almost no other living director can instill such a sense of gleeful dread in the autumn woods ... or in an ordinary house. Every wall, corner, and doorway is a potential hiding place and a potential source of danger. Craven's timing and use of three-dimensional space is practically unequalled. Better still, his sheer pleasure comes through in every frame; this is a man who loves filmmaking, rather than simply cranking out another teen horror fest.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How did it affect you? How does its impact compare to that in other horror movies you've seen?

  • Is the movie scary? What makes it a horror movie? Does it have supernatural elements, or is it more about the suspense?

  • How does Bug grow and change over the course of the film? Does he learn to become a grown-up during his ordeal? Does he learn to take on responsibility?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 8, 2010
DVD release date:February 8, 2011
Cast:Emily Meade, John Magaro, Max Thieriot
Director:Wes Craven
Studios:Rogue Pictures, Universal Pictures
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence, and pervasive language including sexual references

This review of My Soul to Take was written by

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  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
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  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Adult Written byhelsingmusique March 7, 2015

I just love this movie

This movie captivated me, I was still a teenager when this came out and the first time I watched it, I enjoyed it so much. It is a proper thriller movie, I do not understand why it is listed as horror, maybe because of the death toll in, however it is much more a thriller than it is a horror movie. It could possibly be one of the reasons people do not like this movie, this is not a slasher film, the story has a great toll to play on the outcomes of those in the movie. They managed, at least for me (a person who does not tend to overthink anything when watching movies, and just tends to let the plot unravel), the climax and the "reveal" was a bit of a surprise for me, watching it now, I find foreshadowing to lead you to the "reveal", which is quite rare to see in most movies now. Note there is death in this movie, that's part of the plot, however some of the people also swear a lot in the film, nothing that would bother anyone over the age of 12 (swearing accounts, I'd assume the deaths in the film as well however to each their own).
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn November 10, 2011

Wes Craven's slasher pic is a waste of time and money

Wes Craven's uber lame and actually uber disappointing slasher movie really serves no other purpose except for something that he can kill time with while we all waited eagerly for Scream 4 to come out (which with at least that movie, it most certainly did not dissapoint me, what so ever). The problems, which are a great many, are also rather gaping: The actors can't act, the killer isn't scary, the dialog is horribly written, we have seen this a thousand times, the characters are painfully contrived and cliched, and last and most importantly: Wes Craven could be doing so much better than this (Scream 4, anybody)! But, I must move on: There is almost constant strong bloody violence and gore, with numerous grisly slashings to the throat, stomach and various other parts of the body, with almost always accompanied by huge buckets of blood to complement them. Also, there if frequent strong profanity with about 48 uses of f--k, but also includes uses of c--t, sh-t, d-mn, g-dd-mn, h-ll and ass. Well, that's about it, but if you have any dignity and respect for Wes Craven what so ever, you will no better than to watch this train wreck.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byTeenHorrorReviewer October 17, 2011

Excellent film for Craven's return.

My Soul To Take is an excellent supernatural/chiller horror film. Just like most of Craven's work, it will keep you guessing till the end. The violence is not as bad as most of Craven's work, you don't see the killer actually stabbing/slashing the person. You see the aftermath. Like a girl gets a tree branch stabbed through her neck (or that's what it seems) but you don't actually see the tree branch, you see the gallons of blood on display afterwards. This is an excellent film for Craven's return into the film business. There is some talk of sex, but is never shown. There is constant cursing, multiple uses of f**k, s**t, d**k, and plenty more. This is still a good movie to start off with kids that are finding an interest in horror movies.My Suggested MPAA Rating, R: Bloody horror violence, disturbing images, pervasive language, and some sexual material.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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