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Movie Review

Soul Survivors

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for terror/violence, sexuality and some substance abuse

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teen to Adult
Suspense, Horror
1 hr. 24 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 7, 2001
Relevant Issues
Melissa Sagemiller and Casey Affleck in “Soul Survivors”
Featuring: Angela Featherstone, Casey Affleck, Eliza Dushku, Melissa Sagemiller, Wes Bentley
Director: Steve Carpenter
Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Stokely Chaffin
Distributor: Artisan Entertainment
Wes Bentley and Melissa Sagemiller in “Soul Survivors”

Someone needs to contact Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo at “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. I have a new film for them to review. “Soul Survivors” has earned the number one spot on my list of “the worst movies I have ever seen”. It replaces the 1990 film “Spaced Invaders”. I know that many are trying to stir up some hype for this film by comparing it to “The Sixth Sense” and “The Others.” First of all there is very little in comparison. To make such a correlation is to insult the quality of those films. Second, this film was in the can two years ago. It was originally an R rated film. Artisan Entertainment bought the rights to the film and edited it to achieve a PG-13 rating. This movie has the worst combination of script, acting, filming, and music that I have ever witnessed. I knew something was up when during the first week of its release in our area, I viewed the film in an empty theater. The manager told me that the per screen sales on this movie was the worst he had seen this year.

“Soul Survivors” is an extremely lame teen horror flic. It is directed by Steve Carpenter (“Blue Streak”). He claims that the uncut version is better. I doubt it! It is produced by Neal H. Moritz (“I know What You Did Last Summer”) and Stokely Chaffin, who also worked on that project. The studios are hoping that teens have done their trivia homework and will see this film based on the above associations. The story centers around four friends together at the end of summer. They are saying their last goodbyes before they part and go off to separate colleges. They decide to conclude their summer by going to a party. Annie (Eliza Dushku) suggests that they go to a wild rave event at an abandoned church. Sean (Casey Affleck) and Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) are in love and can hardly bare the thought of going separate ways. Matt (Wes Bentley) is with always-ready-for-a-party Raven, but he still has feelings for Cassie. Matt convinces Cassie to give him one last farewell kiss (isn’t that sweet). Quicker than you can say “daytime soap”, Sean witnesses the embrace. The foursome leave the party after consuming alcohol and Sean and Cassie let their anger get the best of them. We witness the results of “don’t Argue and Drive!” Not even an SUV can protect these students from the accident ahead. Following the accident, Cassie begins to float in and out reality. Sean is the only fatality and she is guilt ridden over the fact that she never got to say “I love you” again. The rest of the film desperately tries to be “weird” and “scary”. It fails on both accounts. Cassie is on a college campus, but she ends up being alone everywhere she goes. These scenes of stalking are extremely contrived.

I’m tempted to give away the ending and further discourage you from seeing this film. But, I won’t.

There are plenty of negatives in this film. Alcohol and prescription drugs are glorified. The presentation of lesbian and bi-sexual relationships is flaunted. We witness lots of gross-out blood and gore. Are you getting the picture yet? The film should have stayed on the shelf. My strong recommendation is to skip it! it’s some good news and some bad news: the good news is I may have stumbled upon the cure for insomnia; the bad new is that it may cost you too many precious brain cells. This is definitely not a movie for anyone.

Viewer Comments
Negative—This movie was terrible not only in the film making qualities as it was very difficult to follow but it was just one of those movies that is plain and simple disturbing… not even worth a rental dollar.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Les, age 20