No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.
In My Soul to Take, Wes Craven warms up some horror leftovers in a tale about a serial killer whose soul has (maybe) been reborn into the body of one of a gaggle of small-town teenagers. This flick sprang from (among other films):
• A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and remember the days when Wes Craven made movies that were at least mildly original, and somewhat scary.
• Dead Again (1991), a much more chilling tale of a killer reincarnated: Kenneth Branagh’s private eye investigates the case of amnesiac Emma Thompson, who is dreaming of a decade’s old murder that may be about to repeat itself.
• The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975), for classic reincarnation-and-murder cheese; here, a college professor dreams of a man’s murder, and discovers later that he is the murdered man reborn (a twist that is rather spoiled by the film’s title). David Fincher is rumored to be remaking this.
• Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008), for more of Max Thieriot, the young star of Soul, as a young man unfairly accused of a crime who is exonerated by the girl-reporter investigations of Abigail Breslin’s Kit.
Where to buy:
Dead Again [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
A Nightmare on Elm Street [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud [not available on DVD and is out of print on VHS; used VHS copies are available on Amazon U.S., and can be watched, in part, on YouTube]