Melissa Sagemiller - Cassie
Wes Bentley - Matt
Eliza Dushku - Annabel
Casey Affleck - Sean
Luke Wilson - Father Jude
Angela Featherstone - Raven
Year - 2001
Running Time: 85 minutes
Score - 0.5 Howls Outta 4
Death is a constant. It's the only certain thing we can claim in our lives. It's all around us. We can't escape it. Obviously, many films have dealt with the issue of death. Is there a Heaven? What about Hell? What exactly awaits us in the afterlife? Will any of us ever know?
If you're looking for the answers to these questions in Steve [no relation to John] Carpenter's film, SOUL SURVIVORS, you're gonna be greatly disappointed. But if you want to see a love story, idiots wearing plastic masks, and everything else that makes modern horror films so friggin' crappy - then this, my friends, is your film. Welcome to SOUL SURVIVORS, one of the worst horror films I have ever seen in my life.
Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) is getting ready for college life. Her boyfriend Sean (Casey Affleck) is leaving for Harvard, however, so the two decide to go the "long distance relationship" route. That never works! Anyway, Cassie has one last hurrah at a rave with Sean, her ex Matt (Wes Bentley), and his slutty yet hot girlfriend Annabel (Eliza Dushku). Sean accidentally [how convenient] catches Matt and Cassie sharing a kiss, leading to several moments of awkwardness amongst the four friends. The awkwardness leads to arguing, which leads to Cassie crashing her car into another car, causing her car to roll down a cliff and destroy both cars.
After a quick advance in the story, we learn Cassie is at college grieving over Sean's death [Matt and Annabel survived]. She's haunted by the accident and by appearances from Sean, trying to make sense of what's going on around her. This includes being chased by plastic masked people, watching her tub squirt blood, having ridiculous nose bleeds, dreaming about a hospital, etc. Is Cassie nuts like Britney Spears? Could she be a ghost? Is she really the SOUL SURVIVOR? Who in the hell cares? I sure don't.
I got three words for SOUL SURVIVORS:
WHAT THE FUCK!?
This film is one of the worst pieces of celluoid I have ever seen in my life. It started off kind of good but then just went completely downhill from there. I thought Uwe Boll films were bad, but at least they have cohesion and make some kind of sense. SOUL SURVIVORS has neither. Apparently, the theater release was PG-13 but a minute was added to the DVD to give it an R rating. Even with extra blood, boobies, lesbian, and "terror" input into this "Killer Cut", I was still left unsatisfied. I should have watched some porn. Instead, I wasted 85 minutes on this piece of shit. My mistake.
What went wrong here? Well let's start with the script, or the lack thereof. You know, all I ask for from a script is that it makes sense. I just want it to go from Point A to Point B to Point C without me wondering how it got to each Point. Hell, I don't even mind twist endings as long as they make sense to the film's context. Is that so hard to ask for? Apparently for Steve Carpenter, it is. I have no idea what the point of this film is! It was like watching random images edited together that had no relation to each other whatsoever. Dead Sean pops up here and there, giving crypted messages to Cassie like I'm supposed to understand what he means. Then he disappears out of nowhere, making me wonder what the hell is going on. Not only does the dead do that, but so do the living. People chase Cassie. She turns around. These people are gone. Were there people there to begin with? Is Cassie seeing things? Am I having an ulcer? You sure bet I am! And how can you show an event two or three times and have them be completely different each time they're shown? It's ridiculous! And what about the dude with the plastic mask? Who in the hell was he? It's never explained! Apparently Carpenter thought this would be a hip film for the younger crowd. Well the dude needs a hip replacement. Like NOW! When I take a shit, I expect to see shit in my toilet bowl. When I see a film, I expect to see a movie that I can understand.
And this film is so full of cliches, it's not even funny. When Cassie and her ex Matt kiss, how much you wanna bet that her current boyfriend Sean will catch them in the act? Oh! Look at that! He catches them in the act! I never saw THAT coming! Oh, what about the nosebleed incident by Cassie during her final exam? I bet that's gonna be a dream sequence. Well look at that! It fucking is! And the ending...geez. I saw that shit coming a mile away. And it STILL doesn't make sense! If he's part of the Writer's Strike, I hope he continues to picket even after things are settled. I don't want this Carpenter fool to write or direct another film as long as he lives.
Speaking of the direction, Carpenter is better doing that than writing a sensible story. He used a lot of angles, jump cuts, bright colors, surreal images, and a quick pace. Honestly, I liked the look of the film and Carpenter did a decent job behind the camera. I actually blame the studios for messing his visuals up. The MPAA was probably on their backs and they decided to change Carpenter's vision of the film. Idiots. I don't want to see Carpenter's true version of this film [watching this shit once is enough for me] but I'm sure it was a lot better than what I saw.
The acting was actually semi-decent in this film. Melissa Sagemiller as Cassie carried the film as best as she could [what a trooper]. She was pretty to look at, quite likeable, and a good thespian. Why in the hell was she doing this film!? Someone needs a talk with their agent. Casey Affleck was okay as Cassie's boyfriend, Sean. He liked to whisper and use his puppy dog eyes to get his schick across. He had decent chemistry with Sagemiller as well. Too bad this film was too horrible for me to care. Wes Bentley didn't play a serial killer but he sure looked like one. Does the guy look naturally crazed/angry? Anyway, he played a desperate prick that I didn't really give a shit about. Eliza Dushku played a slut with lesbian tendecies. Yet no clothes came off! Oh Eliza, show me a little Faith! Or two. She looked hot but nothing else. Angela Featherstone creeped me out as the androgynous Raven. I really don't understand what he deal was but at least she was semi-memorable. Too bad she had that disgusting licking kiss scene with Dushku. I like lebsians but that was just sloppy. Turn off! And Luke Wilson cashed a check as a young preist. He looked bored actually. I don't blame him. Even with decent acting from some of the actors, the film is still shit.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE WISHING NO ONE SURVIVED
1. Cassie doesn't feel she's cut out for the Greek life. Yeah because breaking dishes and growing chest hair is so hard. Wuss.
2. Don't go to a rave where gothic sounding dance music plays, fire burns in the background, people wear black leather and masks, and where you get literallly branded at the entrance. You'll probably be raising a lot more than trousersnakes if you get my dri666ft!
3. Don't ever say to someone that you have the rest of your lives ahead of you. The only thing ahead of you is your funeral. Hope you dry cleaned your best suit!
5. Cassie's essay mid-term had questions relating to her horrible night behind the wheel. Her nose was bleeding and she was all stressed out about it. Who frets over an easy A? This chick is as weird as this movie!
6. The bathtub freaked out Cassie when it shot red liquid on her face. That's understandable. She's used to it being white.
7. Annabel and Raven were licking each other's lips and faces like dogs while they made out. I've heard of bitches in heat but ain't this being a bit too literal?
8. Sean tells Cassie not to let go. He should have told the movie studio that before releasing this film. That way I wouldn't have had to torture myself watching it.
9. St. Jude looks after people who are lost. Well can he help me because I have no idea WHAT THE FUCK I'M WATCHING!!
10. A priest tried to cop a feel off of Cassie. Unbelievable. A priest would never do that to the opposite sex!
THE FINAL HOWL
I barely survived SOUL SURVIVORS. For an 85 minute film, it felt like 85 hours. I realy don't know what happened with this film. It seemed like there was a good idea in here somewhere. Too bad finding that idea in this film is like finding a needle in a haystack. Still, I liked Sagemiller's performance and the film was nice to look at. But everything else was a disaster. Definitely one of the worst films I have ever had the displeasure of watching in my entire life. Avoid at all costs. SOUL SURVIVORS, you can KISS MY ASS!