Retro Review: Soul Survivors

The producers of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Urban Legend” dream up another horror franchise.

“Soul Survivors” stars Melissa Sagemiller as Cassie, a co-ed trying to overcome one of the greatest tragedies of her young life. You see, Cassie has just lost the man she loves (Casey Affleck) in a horrendous car crash.

Trying to deal with his death, Cassie relies on her two best friends (Eliza Dushku and Wes Bentley) and the sympathetic ear of a priest (Luke Wilson).

Cassie’s life becomes a struggle as she starts to lose her sanity but is it her mind playing tricks or is our world really not the one she belongs in.

I place “Soul Survivors” in the same category as “Valentine”. It’s a teen horror-soap that features a lot of good young talent but really never hits its mark in the horror or chemistry fields.

The script often tries to be too clever for its own good as it tries to confuse us with interesting camera and editing tools.

The stupid thing is that the film is less than 80 minutes and you have figured it out less than 20 minutes in. At least “Valentine” did a lot better in keeping the suspense alive.

Beautiful Melissa Sagemiller will be forever known as a “Marley Shelton-Sarah Michelle Geller” clone. Dushku will always be “Faith” from the Buffy TV show. Wes Bentley probably will never extinguish his creepy boyfriend persona from “American Beauty”. And finally Luke Wilson will be, well, Luke Wilson.

I like how Sagemiller and Dushku really try to bring us into the flick. These actresses really try to make their roles memorable. But Bentley and Wilson seem stoned, lost or bored in their roles opposite the actresses.

Dushku has a lesbian connection with co-star Angela Featherstone throughout the film. This ‘horror-gothic-lesbian” angle to Dushku’s character makes that relationship the most interesting of the film. Dushku really pushes the envelope on her “dark-gothic-chick” persona with this role.

This film has been sitting on the shelf for over 2-3 years and its no wonder. It is very short, very predictable and very painful to watch. Unlike last week’s “O”, this is a film that should have stayed on the shelf.

(1 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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