Since the run of teen slashers from 1996 – 2000, it seems as though the horror audience now almost dismisses any film that features an ensemble with actors who could all be the next NEUTROGENA spokesmodel. If this had to do with the dismissal of Steve Carpenter’s SOUL SURVIVORS (2001), then the horror audience made a huge mistake.
SOUL SURVIVORS was the most surprising horror entry I have seen in a long time. Although it was merely a modern update of JACOB’S LADDER, SOUL SURVIVORS was more than four pretty teenagers running from a masked stalker. The film is a lot more spiritual.
Not much can be said about the plot of SOUL SURVIVORS, for fact that almost any detail can be a spoiler. The story focuses around “Cassie” (Melissa Sagemiller) and her boyfriend “Sean” (Casey Affleck) and the after-effects of a tragic car accident. “Cassie” struggles to dissect what is reality and what is a hallucination. This may sound like it leads to a lot of twists and turns, and it does. But in the final five minutes, all is explained and the payoff is great.
This film had one of the best casts you could ever imagine. Backing Sagemiller and Affleck in the lead teen quartet are TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”‘s Eliza Dushku, who turns in an impresive performance as party animal “Annabel”, AMERICAN BEAUTY’s Wes Bentley is seen as “Matt”, not too much of a stretch from his BEAUTY character but with a darker side, Angela Featherstone as the sexual “Raven”, who adds a creepy tone to the ensemble, and Luke (HOME FRIES) Wilson as a young priest “Jude”.
SOUL SURVIVORS was released in theaters at a PG-13 cut and is now on DVD and video at an R-Rating (dubbed as the “KILLER CUT). You spend 4 bucks rather well if you invest in the rental of SOUL SURVIVORS.