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Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4
SOUL SURVIVORS, written and directed by Steve Carpenter, the writer of BLUE
STREAK and the upcoming OCEAN'S ELEVEN remake, is a by-the-numbers horror
movie whose only real scare comes from the sudden blast of a starter's
pistol at a swim meet. The story is one of those in which it's never clear,
until the end, who is alive and who is dead and what is a dream and what
isn't. Even the ending explanation leaves plenty of plot holes to ponder.
Well, it would if the movie weren't so instantly forgettable.
Melissa Sagemiller (GET OVER IT), Wes Bentley (AMERICAN BEAUTY), Eliza
Dushku (BRING IT ON) and Casey Affleck (AMERICAN PIE 2) play young lovers
Cassie, Matt, Annabel and Sean. Students at Middleton College in the town of
Middleton, undoubtedly smack dab in the middle of America, the four kids
form two love triangles. One night, when an ominous full moon gives way to a
torrential downpour, the kids drive and argue along a slippery and twisting
mountain road. Not looking properly, they careen into another car of kids,
and one or more of them are killed. After that we have numerous flashbacks
to the events surrounding the accident as well as imaginary sightings of
dead people and lots of non-existent blood.
Along the way people say trite little things to encourage the survivors. As
Father Jude, Luke Wilson comforts one by saying, "It's difficult to be a
survivor, but it's up to God who lives and who dies."
About the only reason to see SOUL SURVIVORS is if you are desperate for a
guilty pleasure. Carpenter tosses in a few erotic scenes, but ones that are
in no danger of threatening his film's PG-13 rating. The most explicit of
these has two girls taking a shower together. Don't worry. They stay fully
clothed at all times.
Question number eight on one of the student's quizzes contains the phrase,
"Abandon all hope ye who enter in." This would be good advice for those who
decide to see this movie.
SOUL SURVIVORS runs 1:25. It is rated PG-13 for "terror/violence, sexuality
and some substance abuse," and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes