Not all things get better with age. In fact, most things don’t. With the exceptions of true love and a small handful of wines, things get worse, decay and die. It’s a sad fact of life. “My Soul To Take”, the latest from director Wes Craven, is another.
I don’t do well with enclosed places.
I can’t even pinpoint some childhood trauma that might have caused it. I just know it’s there. I don’t even do well with onscreen portrayals of claustrophobic situations. It’s like there’s this gigantic jackbooted foot stepping on my chest, crushing the breath from my lungs. It’s a feeling that leaves me wanting to run screaming, arms flailing, into the light. Mostly, I can control it. At the worst, I can just turn off what I’m watching or turn my eyes away. It doesn’t keep me from enjoying things, but it certainly means it might take a little longer to get through it. Maybe that’s why it’s taken me over a year and a half to get through “The Descent”, but that’s a movie discussion for another time. Currently, the movie discussion at hand is “Buried.”
While I’m inclined to believe in the inherent goodness of man, I also tend to believe that in each of us is a nugget of darkness, a seed of the foulest evil that simply needs circumstance to water it. Whether it is the extraordinary circumstance of war or simply the addition of anonymity and its accompanying impunity, it sits waiting, purring, like a black cat in front of our heart’s hearth.
Some of the most potent phrases in the English language are some of the shortest. At the deathbed of a loved one, we simply say, “goodbye.” To a cherished friend embarking on a journey, we may say, “don’t go.” And to the person that has captured our heart, we may say “I love you.”
How about a different set of three words? Let me in.
It could be a command or a plea. It could refer to a location or a relationship. In either case, it marks a beginning and in this case, in particular, it marks another entry into the catalogue of vampire horror movies.
It used to be there was a time when the Great American Horror Tale was “The Tell Tale Heart.” With the advent of moving pictures, one might point to “Frankenstein”. Later on, you could perhaps point to “Psycho” and maybe even “The Exorcist”. These days, some might say that the slasher film is the modern embodiment of the Great American Horror Tale. It’s like a moonlit walk down a familiar path – albeit a very isolated, very dangerous moonlit path – that takes us from the ordinary to the peak of terror and then finally, to release. This current formula is scarcely thirty years old and has become a cherished part of the horror vocabulary. Mostly, Hollywood is content to serve it up as is, but happily, every now and again, someone comes along who can take that recipe and kick it up a notch.