My Soul to Take

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
My Soul to Take Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Lots of bloody slashing in Wes Craven's violent chiller.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

An adult drinks a beer; references to drinking.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byclarence August 7, 2015
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 n... Continue reading
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 w... Continue reading
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... Continue reading

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. Craven has 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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

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