Soul Survivors (2001)
Written by: DMG
Director: Steve Carpenter
Producer: Stokely Chaffin, Neal H. Moritz
Writer: Stephen Carpenter
Date Released: September 7, 2001
Melissa Sagemiller as Cassie
Casey Affleck as Sean
Eliza Dushku as Annabel
Wes Bentley as Matt
Angela Featherstone as Raven
Luke Wilson as Father Jude
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Cassie is on her way to college along with her friends. When her friends bring Cassie to her new college, Middleton College, they go to a club off campus housed which is located in an abandoned church. But, on their way back to college, they get into a car accident and Casey’s boyfriend, Sean, dies. After the accident, Cassie starts to hallucinate and imagine that Sean may in fact still be alive. Meanwhile, Cassie’s friend, Annabel, has been acting strange and is accompanied by some people that were at the club. Soon, Cassie is haunted and chased by members of the club and Cassie’s ex-boyfriend, Matt, who is oddly showing up at very strange and frequent times. It becomes clear that something had happened when Cassie got into that car accident.
There is no blood or gore in this film. Rather the film centers on the suspense and mystery. Specifically, Cassie’s hallucinations create awkward situations. However, there are no jump scare or anything which is overly interesting.
The Grave Review
The first aspect of this film that stands out is the powerhouse actors and actresses that were casted for this the film. Casey Affleck, Eliza Dushku and Luke Wilson are just some of the members who starred or co-starred in this film. Unfortunately, each actor and actress were so poorly utilized that there isn’t one person who can be said to be the star of the film. As a side note, I find it interesting that the producers positioned Eliza Dushku in the center of the movie poster. In reality, Dushku’s role in this film was very minor as she only played a supporting actress rather than a main character. But, this strategy does make sense since she was very popular in the early 2000s and so this may have been a way to entice viewers. Perhaps, this was the producers saving grace to break even on this film. As we delve into the aspects of Soul Survivors, we now know why.
What makes Soul Survivors such a tiresome film is none other than the story. The story is so complicated and creates so many directions, that one never really appreciates what the focal point of the plot is. As Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) experiences different situations, she faces multiple threats. As the viewer, you never truly understand who the main threat is or how everything is connected. Perhaps everything that is shown is meant to be symbolic for something else but this does nothing but create confusion. Creating environments that are supposed to be symbolic for something else is acceptable but in moderation. Cinema is made for the eye and so if you need to draw your own conclusions throughout the film then it is clear then the director dropped the ball. Even the conclusion was executed in such a way that was understandable but less than satisfying. Moreover, it certainly does not help that the film was slow-paced and monotonous.
It is unfortunate that there were so many great actors and actresses in this film that could have carried it in some way. Unfortunately, that was not the case. That is not to say that the cast did a poor job within their respective roles. The film’s plot was simple and so there really was no reason to complicate the story. If you are a fan of any of the actors or actresses, give the film a shot. But, there is a more-likely-than-not probability that you will not enjoy the film.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Soul Survivors (2001) one and a half graves out of five graves.
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