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Soul to Keep
I Eat Your Soul / My Soul to Keep

USA 2019
produced by
David Allensworth, Patrick Kendall, Moniere, Matt Meyer, John Petry (executive) for Shady Tree Films, Cineque Pictures
directed by David Allensworth, Moniere
starring Sandra Mae Frank, Aurora Heimbach, Craig Fogel, Tony Spitz, Jordan Theodore, Kate Rose Reynolds, Jessie Jordan, Derek Long, Amelia Sheeler, Annabelle Reed, Brian Donovon
written by Eric Bram, David Allensworth, music by Irv Johnson, visual effects supervisor: Carlos Aldana

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Eight lifelong friends - deaf Tara (Sandra Mae Frank), her boyfriend Josh (Tony Spitz), his sister Erin (Aurora Heimbach), her best friend Grace (Kate Rose Reynolds), Grace's boyfriend Brandon (Jordan Theodore), slightly weird Freddy (Craig Fogel), musician Toby (Derek Long) and down-to-earth Kimberly (Jessie Jordan) - travel to the cabin deep in the woods of the deceased grandpa (Brian Donovon) of one of them to do what kids of their age are supposed to do: party with tons of drugs and alcohol and without any grownup control. They also find a book of spells in the basement next to some magic symbols painted on the floor, and Erin pretty much insists they try out a spell ... and at first it seems to do nothing but freaking everyone out a bit - but while the others have already left the basement, Grace stays a bit too long and becomes host to the demon Beelzebub. And as Grace, Beelzebub has no problems seducing Freddy and making him her minion, and soon the others start to fall as well, until only Tara, Erin and Josh are left, and Josh makes the fatal decision to take on Grace on his own - bad idea without the right weaponry. So it seems all is lost for the girls, but there's more to the story than meets the eye ...

 

Soul to Keep is a really fun little genre movie, a successful blend of possession flick and survival horror, and while up to a point the film plays strictly along genre lines, it's kept interesting but a cast of fleshed out characters one actually can care about. But the movie gets a real boost in the third act, when much of what happened so far is turned on its head and some rather unique reveals are made that in turn have an impact on the resolution of the movie. On top of that, the inclusion of a deaf person as one of the gang really works as it's not just a gimmick or a sign of political correctness but her condition is actually used for narratie effect  -and that Sandra Mae Frank gives a strong performance of course doesn't hurt either, but the same goes for the rest of the ensemble.

Very solid genre entertainment for sure.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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