My Soul To Take

My Soul To Take - Bug and LeahWhat I had to say about My Soul To Take was originally planned to be part of one post about kidnapped sisters and my golden incest prince (Max Thieriot), but as the case with The Family Tree, it just got be too long. So I gave it a post all to itself.

I don’t think it’s widely considered to be all that great of a movie, but a lot of that is just people expecting too much from horror movie king Wes Craven. There are definitely a couple of moments of weak acting, and a lot of the exposition is clunky, but I don’t know, I rather enjoy this movie. The biggest thing that I don’t like about it is that I feel it leaves a lot of open questions. But it’s a testament to the movie itself that I want those questions answered – I’m curious enough to wonder.

In terms of recommending it, you should also know that it’s definitely horror, with plenty of gore and high body count, and also a supernatural element.

I have to say, the first time I watched it I was quite struck by the brother/sister relationship.  But having just rewatched it for the purpose of writing about it right now, it didn’t make quite the same impression. Is it highly shippable? Yes, definitely. But it didn’t strike me as quite as suggestive as it originally did.

My Soul To Take is written and directed by Wes Craven. Incest often makes an appearance in the horror genre – because people find it creepy – but I’d almost have to say that Craven’s interest extends beyond that. One of his movies – The People Under The Stairs (1991) – involves an evil inbred family. (I’ve seen it and I would not recommend it as a horror film, a comedy, or to those interested in incest in fiction.)

His The Hills Have Eyes (1977) similarly involves an inbred mob of birth-defected monsters (or so I gather – I haven’t seen it). (In the 2006 remake – a movie which I like quite a lot – the disfigurement is a result of radiation and they are a community rather than one family. The plot involves a family on a road trip – including a teenage son and daughter. They get stranded and terrorized. I wouldn’t really consider the relationship worth writing about in an article like this, but it is worth mentioning.)

But most interesting is that he was originally set to write the screen adaptation of Flowers In The Attic (and direct it), but the producers didn’t like his approach to the incest part of the story. Those of you familiar with the movie and the book know that the incest was cut almost entirely from the 1987 movie. Here is a link for Wes Craven’s script, and here is a description of the highlights. Although his script is described as more graphic and violent than the one that was chosen, he actually writes the incest sex scene as consensual. So it sounds like Craven’s script would have been better than the book! In the novel, the sister quickly forgives her brother for raping her. (She had a burgeoning sexual attraction to her brother, but she was not ready to have sex with him.)  I haven’t read the sequels, but I believe they end up living as husband and wife eventually. (Their parents were actually incestuous as well – half-uncle/niece…though apparently the last book, which is actually a prequel, changes them into half-brother/sister.)

I have to look at a person with that much incest in their oeuvre and wonder if they don’t have a particular interest in it. If anything I write ever gets published, I’m sure they’ll be saying the same thing about me AND THEY WILL BE 100% RIGHT. Which isn’t to say that Wes Craven or anyone else isn’t capable of writing an “innocent” brother/sister relationship (though I have to wonder about myself these days on that front), but it certainly casts all of the brother/sister relationships he has written into a suspicious light.

And so we have My Soul To Take.

What is My Soul To Take about, you ask? Well, I’m not sure I even know, even though I’ve seen it twice.

OK, so there was this serial slasher killer called the Riverton Ripper, who was really a man named Abel Plenkov, a family man with a pregnant wife (whom the Ripper kills) and a daughter. And he had multiple personality disorder – 6 personalities in addition to his own, and then a 7th he never knew about – the Ripper. The police seemingly kill the Ripper several times over, but he eventually disappears. One of the myths surrounding him was that he didn’t have multiple personalities – he had multiple souls. And so on that night when he (supposedly) died, 7 kids were born in that same town. The movie takes place 16 years later exactly, focusing on those 7 kids – called the Riverton Seven – as the Ripper returns and begins killing them (and plenty of others) off.

The seven are Adam (called “Bug”), our main character (aka Max Thieriot);My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (4) his best friend Alex;My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (13) alex dunkleman their friend Jerome; Penelope, who has a major crush on Bug and is always praying and talking about God and prophesying;My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (14) penelope Brandon, the jerk jock; Brittany, the beautiful popular girl that Bug has a crush on; My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (19) brittany cunningham-02 And Jay, who dies not long after we meet him. The school is run by the powerful Fang (Emily Meade), an HBIC who somehow manages to get everyone to do what she wants.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (11) She has her right hand minions (including Brittany), and her muscle (Brandon, who is enamored of Brittany and Fang uses Brittany to control him), and several thriving businesses – including drugs and selling test answers. However she got started, things are definitely at the point now that everyone is too afraid to mess with her. Each day she has Brandon dole out punishments (called “punitives”) – punches, essentially – on a scale of 1-10 for infractions against her and her rule. For example, Bug gets a 3 (for his birthday, mysteriously) and Alex gets an 8 for spying.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (12) gif

So, this is the set-up of the film. Anything from here on out could be considered spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, then go now and come back after you’ve watched it.SPOILER LINE GIF

Alex wants to take Fang down, so he convinces Bug, who wants to see what Brittany thinks about him, to help him spy on Fang’s meeting with her ladies in the restroom. So Bug puts his cell phone (a new one he had just gotten for his birthday from his mother) in there, while he and Alex listen in on Alex’s phone. Brittany does end up mentioning Bug, but Fang says that Bug has been in and out of mental hospitals and has killed people, and she gets Brittany to agree that he’s no good.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (21)-04

So we get a hint here that Bug might have some mental troubles. He begins having visions of various members of the seven after they’ve been killed off:My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (7)

And he begins having conversations with himself like he’s freaking Gollum.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (9) gif My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (8) Gollum talking to himself But he is also able to imitate the living (like with Alex below) and mimic the living (he’s reciting Fang’s line above), not just people who have already died, which is confusing to me.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (10) gif

It becomes pretty evident that after members of the seven die, their souls go inside of him. I can’t explain the rest. And as the movie progresses, he’s able to distinguish one from the other and they’re able to say things to him. He also becomes smarter, like he has their combined brain power at his disposal.

Bug doesn’t help his case with Brittany when she catches him in the girl’s bathroom holding her purse when he goes back in to retrieve his phone. All things considered, she still treats him pretty well. But it doesn’t really matter, because she dies in the next scene. Penelope had died earlier on – the second of the seven to die – after kissing Bug on the cheek, to his confused surprise. (Which I point out to say that there was a slight development the Bug/Penelope and Bug/Brittany relationships, but not much. And it was all for naught.)

Bug heads home after school is over where it is revealed that Fang is his sister!!!!My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (23)

My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (4)I wouldn’t say that it’s an ingenious twist – it doesn’t really change anything – but I still love the way Craven plays with our perceptions. And I love it when they reveal that someone is a sibling a long time after they’re introduced. They sort of do this in Doom – you assume that Sam is John’s ex-girlfriend, perhaps even an ex-wife, and then you find out that she’s actually his sister. Not only is a thrill (at least, for me) to find out that there’s a brother/sister relationship in the movie, but the delay of the reveal of the true nature of the relationship 1) gives a viewer a chance to start shipping them before they know it’s incest (in an action movie like Doom, you can almost automatically assume that the exes will get back together before the end because that’s what always happens), and 2) forces the viewer to reflect on the nature of the relationship because they mistook it originally. It’s actually a quite effective device.

Fang is no pleasure at home, either. She gives Bug a rocking horse for his birthday – the fact that she has a present for him surprises both Bug and his mother.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (25) But once the mother sees what it is, she sends Bug upstairs and she and Fang have a cryptic argument. The mother calls Fang “Leah”, which careful listeners will know is also the name of Abel Plenkov’s three year old little girl who barely escaped being murdered by him in the prologue.

My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (3) Emily MeadeIt’s apparent that there is something that Leah wants to tell Bug, and his mother doesn’t want him to know it. The curious Bug eventually gets the truth out of his sister – his mother is really his aunt, and he and Leah are the Ripper’s kids by his murdered wife Sarah. Bug was saved from his mother’s dead body, but not before he suffered some oxygen deprivation – enough that it comes up in conjunction with his mental issues. (Which include long periods of memory loss – like his time in the mental institutions that he doesn’t remember.)

It’s unclear exactly what Bug thought his relation to Leah was – whether he thought they were just cousins who were raised together, or if he thought his mother was mother to them both even though Leah calls her by her first name (May), and whether he knew they shared a father (an unknown person to him) or not. He clearly didn’t know that Leah was Plenkov’s daughter, let alone that he was as well. Bug has the last name Hellerman, but it’s unclear what last name Leah uses, but it can’t be Plenkov.



Leah hates Bug for a couple of reasons – because she associates his birth with when her life went to sh!t, but mostly because of his innocence. He never went through the horror she went through, he doesn’t have to live with the truth that she does – he’s just living in his innocent world of being May’s son with no association to the Ripper except his birthday.

Bug pretends to run off, while May and Leah head off to the church to have protection in numbers from the Ripper. (It sounds like they’re neglecting his safety, but May actually gets murdered before she has a chance to leave the house, and Fang spends the rest of the time hiding from the murderer. So if things were different, one might assume they would have gone to look for him.)

My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (6) gif max theiriotAlex shows up, and Bug and he discuss the fact that if the multiple-souls theory is right, then one of the seven was born with two souls, one of which is the Ripper. At that point only the two of them and Jerome out of the seven are alive. For the next 20 minutes or so it remains ambiguous whether Bug is the killer or not (he had opportunity to kill Jay, Penelope, Brittany, and Brandon earlier on), and then it is revealed that it’s actually Alex. Before all is said and done, Jerome and May and Alex are killed as well. The movie ends with Leah and Bug outside in front of their house as all the police arrive.

There’s also this whole other element about the California condor being an eater of souls. Bug is fascinated by the carrion-eaters and the myths surrounding them. He sees himself as one, especially at the end. His back gets scraped up in the pattern of wings. I never felt like this part fit, and I don’t quite get it. I like it in theory, though.

There’s a number of immediately interesting facts where Bug/Leah is concerned. First of all we have the delayed reveal of their true relationship, which I discussed earlier. Then we have Leah’s name. It’s pronounced like Leia from Star Wars. I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Leia” that’s the only person I think of. So even though the spelling is different, I think the connection is there. Perhaps she was just given a memorable name so that we would recognize it when we heard it again, but let’s not forget that Leia was in a love triangle with her brother Luke before George Lucas decided to reveal that she was Luke’s sister in the third movie (and they even kissed!), and there’s other parallels: they were, unknown to them, the children of a bad dude – Darth Vader – from whom Luke inherited weird powers, and Luke was raised by his aunt and uncle! So, yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch, but who cares. Or is it a stretch? That’s a lot in common.

My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (2) Emily MeadeThen we have the fact that Bug and Leah are the only survivors. It isn’t quite as strong a case as in Doom or House of Wax, where the brother and sister are literally the only people left alive for miles around after a day of massacres, but Bug and Leah are the only two main characters (out of 10 or so at least) that are alive at the end. Among the dead include Bug’s two love interests – Penelope and Brittany. Granted, they’re sort of inside of him now…I don’t really know how that works…but it’s still a nonstarter. I tend to call “love interest elimination” a best case scenario. One of the deleted/extended/alternate scenes shows Bug having a vision of all of them walking down the street – I guess a sort of projection of what’s going on inside his head – but even then Bug is only talking with his friends – Penelope and Brittany are in the distance.

Now we can take a closer look at the scenes between them.

Finding out later that Leah hates Bug, and why – we know that she gave him the 3 for his birthday present (saving his ugly truth birthday present for later that night) – a punitive for being born.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (17) gif

And knowing that Leah is Bug’s sister and knowing Bug’s full story sheds a whole new light on the conversation Fang and her minions have in the bathroom – the one that Bug and Alex overhear.

After Brandon gave Bug and Alex their punitives, Alex talked back to him. Brandon was going to retaliate but Penelope showed up on scene and got the security guard’s attention. Fang/Leah says that maybe Penelope needs a 10, and asks Brittany, “What’s her story, anyway?”

“She’s obsessed with Bug,” Brittany answers. “Girls find him attractive,” she adds in a way that makes it pretty clear that she agrees but is not ready to be open about that fact.

While I quite agree that Bug is attractive, so far he has been shown to be sort of unpopular and odd – and really sort of cowardly and stupid as well. Bug doesn’t even think that Brittany knows he’s alive. So I find it sort of odd that she’s noticed him.

“Do you?” Leah asks.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (22)-05“What?”

“Find Bug attractive?” Leah is staring poor Brittany down.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (20)-03

“No, of course not.”

“He’s a lunatic, Brittany,” Leah begins.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (18)-01 “A brain bomb waiting to go off. His only real friend is [Alex] Dunkleman and Dunkleman just uses him as his monkey. He’s been in and out of institutions half his life. Bug has killed people. Wake up and smell the Starbucks.”

“You’re right. He’s pathetic.”

“Brandon’s the one for you, Britt. He’s a diamond. In the rough, I’ll admit, but a diamond just the same. By comparison, Bug is a lump of coal. Trust me on this. OK?”

“OK, Fang,” Brittany says resentfully, and she leaves.

There’s a lot going on here. We’ve got Leah’s virulent hate for Bug seeping through (especially the “Bug has killed people” part, which she later says was in reference to Adam and Leah Plenkov – aka who they could have been). We’ve got Leah possibly warning her friend Brittany off of Bug, truly believing that Bug is dangerous.

Leah shoots and kills Bug in one of the alternate endings, understanding that he has the Ripper in him now. (…I think) The supernatural element of it is never revealed to her like it is to Bug, which means she must have just known there was a supernatural element all along.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (41)  My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (44)My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (42) My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (43) My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (45) My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (46) gif

(I’m not even really going to go into the fact that out of all the people Bug could have a crush on, he has a crush on one of Leah’s friends.)

We’ve  got Leah trying to keep Brittany available for Brandon, because Brandon’s interest in Brittany is what keeps him obedient to Leah. But we’ve also got Leah figuring out that Brittany is interested in her brother and then scaring her away from him, which could possibly be motivated by something else – a desire to hurt Bug, or a desire to keep him unattached. It would have been interesting to see how she handled Penelope, if Penelope had lived long enough. I wonder how much Leah has been controlling Bug’s life. We know she arranged for him to “kill the Ripper” (part of a ritual the seven do every midnight on their birthday), and he was too scared to do it, which resulted in some humiliation. It could easily be the case that she has kept him down his entire life.

I’m writing an original story (brother/sister incest, of course) where the popular sister uses her social capital to keep her brother unpopular, not yet consciously realizing that she wants him all to herself. So there could be something like that going on with Leah and Bug.

As for Bug’s reaction to all of this, it’s all over the place. When Leah says that he has killed people, he’s still reacting to being called Alex’s monkey. The biggest reaction shot we get from him is in response to when Brittany says, “You’re right, he’s pathetic.” But when he and Alex are done listening, Alex coaches him to say, “Thanks, Fang, that felt good”, and to not show her that she had hurt him. So the focus of that discussion was definitely on the fact that Fang had hurt him, and not on Brittany.

Bug just kind of stares at her when she brings out the present for him:My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (24)Then, when he sees the rocking horse (which their father had made), May tells him to leave it and go up to his room, but he says, “Leah gave it to me,” and takes it up with him. Clearly the fact that it was a gift from her meant something, and he was also making an interesting show of solidarity with Leah against May.

May says to Leah, “How could you?” and Leah says, “Somebody’s got to bust his cherry.” She’s referring, of course, to telling him the truth – breaking his mind’s innocence. But the sexual connotation is there.

“You’re scared of being human,” May says to her a little later on in the argument, accusing her of hiding behind a variety of things because she’s too scared to move on. It’s easy to see that Leah doesn’t really let herself care about anything. Leah and May have a really ugly fight, then Leah storms upstairs. Bug wants to talk to her, and he puts his hand on her shoulder to stop her and she punches him, then goes into her room.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (27) gifMy Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (28) gifMy Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (29) gif My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (30) gif “Why do you hate me, Leah?” Bug demands through her closed door. “I’ve never done anything to do you.”

I wonder if he’s asked her that before. I sure as hell would have.

She opens her door, comes back through it, and slams him against the wall. “You ruined my life, that’s what you’ve done, you little shit,” she says. (She’s really much too smart to be blaming him for anything. I mean, their mother didn’t even die in child birth. There is literally nothing to blame him for.) Then Leah slams him against the opposite wall of the hallway, and punches him again. Then she knees him a couple of times – in the stomach and the face. He doesn’t fight back.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (31) gif beating him up

“Why?” he asks, blood streaming down his face.

“Why? I will tell you why, maggot. From the moment you were born everything went to shit for me. You were the miracle baby and I was the painful reminder you got to live in this dream and I got stuck in a fucking nightmare. I am sick to death of your innocence. It is an insult to me,” she screams.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (32) gif

Bug grabs her foot as she tries to go back into her room. “Why am I innocent?”

“You are so clueless it is stunning,” she replies.

He stands. “Tell me!”

“Do you know who your father was?”

“May said that he loved us very much.”

“But who was he?”

“I don’t know. He died in a car crash.”

“On the way to the hospital to be with May when she was having you, right?”


“What a sad yet beautiful story. Have you ever asked yourself why May doesn’t ever talk about him or why there isn’t a single fucking picture of him around the house?”

“Maybe it’s too painful…”My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (26)

“Do you know who Abel Plenkov was?”

“The Riverton Ripper?”

“Besides that.”


“Take a look in the mirror, Bug.”

She goes back into her room,and leans against the back of the door, just taking a minute.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (34) My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (35)The calming exercise doesn’t really work, and she destroys her dollhouse, which, like the rocking horse, she had kept as a memory of their father.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (36) Bug listens, then knocks on her door asking to be let in. She opens the door, and he comes in with the rocking horses and smashes it, cursing. (He was shown earlier in the movie to prefer not to swear, like the innocent little boy he was.)My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (37) gif

“There, we’re even,” he says.

Leah is a little shaken. She’s watching carefully to see what happens next.

Then he lifts up his shirt to wipe the blood off of his face and flashes his midriff, and a letter drops to the floor. A letter which Penelope had left in their mailbox for Bug, which Leah had then stolen and given to Brittany to open in a way that wouldn’t be detectable later, and which Bug had then found in Brittany’s purse, knowing from what Penelope said earlier that she had left him a note.

Leah asks him where he got it.

This is where the scene splits. In the theatrical version, he says, “There’s a revolution coming,” and then walks out. This is an echo of what Alex said earlier when he wanted to spy on Fang’s conversation. But there’s an extended version of the scene – DRAMATICALLY extended, which I am going to take as canon. I assume it was cut for length, because a lot of what is discussed is important, in my opinion. And it adds some necessary resolution to the whole Fang thing.

He tells Leah that he knows she stole it, kicking aside the debris to walk over closer to her, and then suddenly becomes like different person – standing tall and tough, assertive.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (38) gif

“I did no such thing,” she says, though I’m surprised she even bothered denying it. Considering the fact that she just beat him up, I wonder that she would care if he knew she took his letter. But perhaps she’s embarrassed about taking such an interest in his social life.

“It’s bad enough that you pay Brandon to assault people, but you’ve been running drugs from Chihuahua and selling them at school?” Bug accuses.

“Are you spying on me?” She seems a little amused, but also a little worried.

“You rolled 10,000 narco dollars into Chinese bonds just this afternoon. That’s money laundering.”My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (39) gif

Leah does a very poor job of denying it. She herself doesn’t even know how much money – Bug does the math aloud for her. It’s impressive. (And almost certainly a result of his increased brainpower thanks the others that are inside of him already.)

“We’re talking about Fang here, Leah, we’re not talking about you,” he says, sort of giving her an out by allowing her to distance herself from those bad acts. I think it’s extremely interesting. I think it gives a glimpse of what their interactions might have been like before this fateful date. She was “Leah” at home, and while never nice, I’m sure they had reached a comfortable detente at home. “Fang” was someone who existed at school and in public.

“Just tell her I want a straight answer,” Bug adds.

Leah is willing to play along. She imitates going off to talk to Fang, and then comes back. So I guess everyone in this family has multiple personalities. It’s one thing that have a nickname and a public persona – this is obviously going a slight step above that.

“She says she will give you the truth if you give her immunity,” Leah says.

“Done,” Bug agrees.

“Shoot,” she says.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (40) gif

“Was I in and out of institutions half my life?”

“Yeah. A bunch. May wanted you to get better, and it didn’t work out.”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“Do you really thnk you’re normal, Bug?”

“What’s normal?”

“Not having night terrors and severe memory loss and claustrophobia, and migraines so bad you wake up in the middle of the night puking your guts out.”

“Everybody’s got something.”

“TBI isn’t just something. Traumatic brain injury. You suffered from hypoxemia, oxygen starvation to the brain.”


“The night you were born. You were trapped inside your mother’s dead body for too long before they cut you out of her.”

“May’s not dead.”

“May’s not your mother. She’s your mother’s sister. Your – our – mother was murdered the day you were born.”

“Did I kill people?”

“You killed us, Bug. You didn’t mean to, but we haven’t really been alive since the day you were born. Not as ourselves. Plenkov kids.”

She pulls out an envelope and hands it to him. “The mirror, Bug,” she says. “Take a look. It’s time.”

Leah shows further humanity when she finds out that Brittany has been murdered. She feels horrible because she knows that she treated her very poorly that day. (And on her birthday, too! For shame!)

The town covered up the Ripper’s getaway for their tourism business, though May agreed for Bug’s sake. Leah is disgusted by their hypocrisy (as fictional teenage girls are wont to be) and she won’t let May deny it anymore – the Ripper is alive and he’s hunting down the Seven. She says he’s going to kill the others, and then he’s going to come for her and Bug. “I can’t let that happen to Bug,” she says. Awwwwwwwwwwww. Somewhere deep inside of her is a protective older sister.

But Bug hides, making them think he has run off, and they head to the church.

Then he pulls out the envelope, which has an audio commentary from Leah telling him the truth, and a bunch of newspaper clippings.

Then a bunch of stuff happens. Whatever. Eventually the Ripper, in “costume” (since it’s really Alex) chases Bug around the house. My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (48)

Leah is hiding, she pulls Bug into the closet with her. She’s extremely tactile during this scene, pulling him into the closet, basically sticking her hand in his mouth and running her fingers all over his face to keep him quiet, (DO YOU SEE THAT GIF?) then hanging onto his shoulder. My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (49)And when she thinks it’s safe and is about to walk out, he pushes her behind him.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (50)

At this point, all of the animosity is behind them. He says he’s going to give the Ripper a 10, and Leah tells him to make it a 20. Kind of stupid dialogue, but what’s important is that they’ve overcome Fang. They’re united now, against the Ripper.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (51)

He sends Leah next door to call the police when it’s clear and goes after the Ripper.

At the end, Leah is waiting outside with the cops and ambulances. He comes out the door and walks over to her. She calls him “Adam” and they hug!My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (52) gif hug

Just look at the way that they look at each other when they pull out of the hug!My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (53)-07

I have no idea what Bug’s mental state is like at the end of the movie. That’s something I felt was very unresolved. In his narration, he says that he has accepted that he lives in a house of blood. But that’s it, really. Leah is 19, but Bug is only 16. He has to live somewhere. One can imagine them living on their own, though if I were them I would get out of town. We know she’s got money, and a thriving drug/money laundering business. So I think they’ll be OK. Together. Fjfjkddkdkljd

You’ve probably noticed by now that at the end I always add something about the actors that I find while looking for images. This is no big deal, but in an interview with Emily Meade and Max, the interviewer asks what viewers have to look forward to in the movie, and Max talks about great characters and being scared and then Emily is just like, “Max is in the shower for a few minutes.” Same, Emily. Same.My Soul To Take - Bug and Leah (54) gif emily meade max thieriot interview

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14 Responses to My Soul To Take

  1. Cassandra says:

    I loved this movie and definitely got the first impression much like you that there was something between them! Max is definitely a prime “brother” that could possibly be into his sister role- but heard his in real life personality is horrible. Like he’s an ass, big time. But who really knows? Guess we need to meet him someday to find out! I’ve been loving your updates! I can’t believe you didn’t read the sequeals to FITA though! So good, I love chris/Cathy. most of my books are V.C. Andrews… such good reading. Have you read A Spellbinding Winter? Or Wasteland? Such great books as well.

    There needs to be more incest movies. We need to write them!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      So you had seen this movie already? I’m glad you loved it because I love it too. I love that the relationship between Bug and Leah is the most important relationship in the movie, but that’s not something you realize until you’re towards the end.

      I think it’s probably a coincidence that Max Thieriot has so many movies in his filmography that involve intense brother/sister relationships, but it’s starting to get suspicious, LOL. I don’t know anything about him as a person, but I’m sad to hear that he might not be a very nice person. I’ve heard that about most celebrities at one time or another, so hopefully it’s just a misunderstanding. Yeah, I guess we do need to meet him in person to find out!

      I didn’t know you had read the other Flowers in the Attic books! I’ve been tempted at times to read the others. My reading list is pretty full right now. Wasteland is on it. I think I’ve read the winter one that you mentioned.

      Haha, yes. We do need to write them! REVOLUTION!

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. queencest says:

    I finally saw it and did a review on my blog

    Thanks so much for always bringing these movies to our attention, no matter if the relationships are small or not. And for your awesome reviews, back stories and every minor detail you pay attention too!

    I thought Max was good in his role, he always does well with playing innocent/psycho all at the same time as he previously demonstrated in The House At The End of The Street.

    Thanks for pointing out what happens in the extend scene. I am thinking that his sister Fang/Leah probably also has multiple personalities. We already know she goes by Fang at school (and is like a different person) then the Leah she is when she is at home.

    I think you are right on with Wes Craven and the Star War analogy could definitely be true. It is funny too how Wes delayed telling the audience their true relationship, like you said.

    I hated the costume the killer wore, lol. Also some of the death scenes were just awkward and seemed very low budget. They were also even unnecessary, the film would have worked better as being just a thriller instead of trying to make it a teen slasher too. More time on the bro/sis relationship please!

    Some parts of it were really scary (I screamed!) but other parts were hard to wrap your head around. Is it because Bug has the same thing his father has why the souls go into him? Why did the father’s soul go into the friend? How long was he in there, just on the birthday?

    “You killed us, Bug. You didn’t mean to, but we haven’t really been alive since the day you were born. Not as ourselves. Plenkov kids.”
    Hopefully now they will get to be their true selves. They’ve been living a lie for the last 16 years. Perhaps this is also saying they have lied about how they really feel about one another.
    The other quotes too that Wes wrote in were awesome and held a lot of subtext like the Cherry and the “felt good” quote.

    Why did Leah wait so long to tell him who he really was? Surely it was eating her up inside. She beats the shit out of him – showing aggressively the conflict she feels inside? That she has unpure thoughts about him? Or maybe she beats him up because it is a way to get all that anger out she has been holding in for so many years. Was keeping it a secret her way of protecting him? I would like to think so.

    Also interesting to note that the whole film has a religious theme, the title itself is from a psalm. I might be going overboard here but it could have something to do with the incestuous tones as well.

    -Thanks, that felt good! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I just read what you wrote about it on your tumblr. It’s always great hearing your thoughts. I think Leah having a different name and attitude at school is extremely interesting. It is definitely an intentional thing. It very well could be that she inherited something from her father, something different from Bug.

      I’m not a big fan of slasher films in general. Sometimes I enjoy when a horror movie finds all kinds of new and interesting ways to kill people. That’s something I really appreciate about House of Wax. But just another homicidal maniac with a knife doesn’t interest me at all. So I agree, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been more of a psychological thriller.

      Leah says that she made a sort of deal with Aunt May to keep the truth from him. But Leah doesn’t seem like the type to respect that sort of agreement, so I think that even though she hated him for his innocence, she did continue to keep the truth from Bug as a way of protecting him. It’s really the only thing that makes sense.

      As for all the other questions, your guess is as good as mine. The script really could have been tightened to eliminate a lot of the lingering questions.

      I love the whole “that felt good” thing. It’s just sort of adorable. The conversation between Alex and Bug when Alex is trying to teach Bug to say that is one of the best scenes in the movie.

      • queencest says:

        Thank you for reading and re-blogging and responding here. I thought maybe you didn’t have a chance to comment yet because I didn’t get a notification email, I guess I didn’t check the box below! LOL I agree about the “that felt good.” It was funny too. I guess I missed that part where she made the deal with May, I too am just going to go with she wanted to protect him.

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I was happy to. You made some great points and I definitely wanted anyone searching my tumblr for that relationship to be able to find what you had written. Notification e-mails seem to be wonky all over the place. I hardly ever get ones from my tumblr about my inbox. Or if I do, it comes days later.

  3. hoagie says:

    I like this movie too even though I wouldn’t call it good. I don’t think you can call a horror movie good if the main villain isn’t scary and the Ripper certainly isn’t, plus some of his lines are just plain cheesy. The main reason I liked this movie was Bug and Leah’s relationship and to be fair I thought Max Thieriot was awesome in this. The only part of the movie that I would say was scary or at least eerie was when bug and Alex give their report on the Condor and Bug’s personality flips like a switch.

    Even though there are only a few scenes where they are on screen together I ended up thinking about Bug and Leah quite a bit after i watched the movie. Its really interesting how much effort Leah seems to put into controlling her little brothers life. It be one thing if she just set him up to be embarrassed by the ripper puppet to screw with him and you can reason that fang puts so much effort into trying to shoo Brittany away from bug so that she can keep control of Brandon but there’s more to it than that. Like why would she care if Bug got a letter from a Penelope, I don’t see how Leah could have known that the letter came from Penelope. All she likely knew was that there was a letter addressed to her brother in their mailbox and that it probably had come from a girl. I say that because I think it’s obvious it came from a women, no guy is going to dress up a letter or note in a nice envelope like Penelope used, the thought simply wouldn’t occur to us.LoL.

    Another thing to consider is that when Bug and Alex receive their punitives the message Brandon passes on to Bug from Leah is that he should stay away from Alex.It seem like not only does Leah want to keep women away from Bug but she doesn’t want him to have a social life at all. Maybe Leah wont be happy till Bug has no choice but to come home and be around her everyday. Yet another thing that I noticed is that I don’t believe that there is any mention of Leah having a boyfriend or anything like that. I’ll be honest Emily Meade is really hot in this movie, it doesn’t matter how unpleasant her character is, guys would be attracted to her like a moth to flame, so Leah would have no trouble getting a boyfriend unless of course she didn’t want one which I think she doesn’t.Another point of interest to me was that May said Leah was still in High School at the age of Nineteen. Leah is supposed to be a delinquent but she isn’t stupid so I like to think that she failed on purpose so that she could stay around Bug longer.

    I get that Leah is supposed to be lashing out and mistreating Bug because he got live the live of innocence that was stolen from her or maybe she sees him as an embodiment of when her life fell apart since I’m sure that seeing both of your parents die in front of you would screw anyone up let alone a three year old, but through my shipping goggles I like to think that maybe she’s frustrated because the only guy she wants is one that she can’t have, maybe its easier to pretend she hates him than to accept that she’s in love with her brother.

    Wow, I was going to write about my headcannons and plot ideas for Bug and Leah but this comment took on a life of it own so maybe I should just end this with a thank you, like aliens in the attic I probably would have never given this movie a chance if I hadn’t read about it on here first.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Yay, another comment! I love reading your thoughts, especially since you have such an open mind for non-canons ships. And honestly it’s such a joy to me that you’re interested in Bug and Leah because I just feel like there’s so much chemistry and potential there and I’ve been sailing this lonely ship all by myself for a long time. And I’m also really glad that you didn’t follow my recommendation and then end up hating the movie and wishing you hadn’t wasted your time on it.

      I agree – I don’t think My Soul To Take is really a good movie, or a good horror movie, but I think it’s enjoyable to watch, which is enough to validate its existence in my opinion.

      Yes, I think Leah’s efforts to control Bug are much farther reaching than just her trying to keep her empire in line. Like you pointed out – she tries to keep Bug away from Alex and and she hijacks the letter from Penelope even though those have nothing to do with anything except for Bug himself.

      You make a really good point about Leah not having a boyfriend. She could probably have any guy she wanted, especially since she wields so much power at the school. (And has access to drugs and money.) If there was a guy that she wanted that wasn’t interested in her she could probably even bully him into dating her somehow, so it really does seem to be her choice not to have a boyfriend. And the implications for Bug/Leah are very good, even if its only on a subconcious level that she’s holding out for him.

      I think if you choose to look at their relationship with your shipping goggles on then you see a lot. And I think the idea of Leah struggling to deal with the fact that she’s actually in love with Bug has so much potential and is really fascinating.

      I still want to hear your headcanons and fic ideas though! More Bug and Leah! More more more!

      • hoagie says:

        the basic idea I had for a story was to slow the events of the movie down, maybe the Riverton seven’s sixteenth birthday just marks the return of the ripper as he kills the Riverton Seven over the course of a couple days or weeks instead of killing them all in one day. In the movie Bug seems to become more intelligent as the souls of his friends go into him so I figured it would make sense if Bug slowly became more intelligent and aware of what was going on around him over the course of story. Eventually he would realize how obsessed Leah is with him and his social life and that would lead to a confrontation between them.

        I kind of run out of ideas at that point but that basic idea would give me an excuse to have more scenes with them together at home, I wish their had been more scenes with both Bug and Leah in them in the movie, and I really wish I had the extended version of the My Soul To Take for that reason but I couldn’t find it online and I don’t want to go out and buy a dvd when I only really like half the movie.I really want to write a story for Bug and Leah but I’m hesitant to start because I don’t have the plot as planed out as much as I would like yet and I’m in the weird position of wanting to work on two or three other fics at the same time right now, including a Dennis and Dee story.

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I always feel like that – stretched so thin over a number of fandoms with a dozen ideas that aren’t yet fully cooked.

          I LOVE that idea for a fic. I really wanted the movie to explore more the idea of Bug growing much smarter, but at least there’s still room for us to imagine that taking place after the movie (in canon terms). But keeping everyone in the crucible of the threat on their lives is a much better setting for that idea to be explored – especially where it pertains to Bug/Leah. I’d love to see more of Leah being protective.

          I would have killed someone for more scenes with just Bug and Leah, especially ones that took place in their house.

          Is there an actual extended version of the movie or do you just mean the extended/alternate/deleted scenes from the regular DVD? Because if that’s all you want then I could probably put them up for you.

          Once you start writing the story the end might reveal itself to you. Or you could always just end it more or less the way the movie ends (in terms of plot), then all you have to decide is where you want Bug and Leah’s relationship to be. Personally I don’t mind open endings at all. And I tend to end my stories pretty openly. I mean the story has to take its readers on a journey from one point to the next point but the end of the story doesn’t have to be a conclusion to the conflicts in the story. I always let myself forget that and put so much pressure on myself to write a story that builds up and then winds down when that’s not necessary at all.

          There’s a lot of demand for Dennis/Dee so you should seriously consider making that one a priority. I got a request on my tumblr and wrote a small drabble a few months ago and I’ve been hounded (that’s a slight exaggeration) for more, which is just delightful. The Dennis/Dee shippers really came out of the woodwork this season and they are HUNGRY for fics.

          I’m sure I’ll be thrilled by whatever you end up writing. I really do hope you publish something.

          • hoagie says:

            I suppose I just mean the deleted scenes you discussed then, I only ever found the theatrical version online.

            I’m not really used to having my thoughts and plan scattered amongst multiple fandoms and its only recently become a problem for me. I got started writing fanfiction because I was completely obsessed with one particular pairing and wrote a story just to maintain my sanity, so I got used to taking on one project at a time. Now that I have become addicted to writing fanfiction, I get ideas for stories out of nowhere. the trouble is my attention span is to say the least not so great, so working on multiple stories at the same time isn’t realistic for me. I should probably take your advice and just finish my Dennis/Dee story first since that one has made decent headway. I cranked out about a thousand words in one day which for me is a blisteringly fast pace, I’m pretty slow writer LOL.

            • Shipcestuous says:

              I only ever work on one story at a time as well. I find I do my best work when I’m focused like that. And I am a ridiculously slow writer. I’ve never been able to write a rough draft. I always just keep editing and editing as I go along because when I get stuck I compulsively read what I’ve already written over and over and over again. It’s not a good method it’s just what I can’t keep myself from doing. I’m also obsessed with word choice, so I deliberate for minutes over synonyms, or I spend huge chunks of time searching for just the right word.

              I’ve been writing fanfiction for years and years. I actually wrote my first fanfic in middle school and it was AWFUL but wow, that’s 15 years of fanfiction writing. I’ve always balanced it with working on my own original fiction, but my problem recently is that I’ve been focusing on fanfiction and getting all of my writing urges out that way, so my original fiction has really taken a blow. And the thing is I don’t even end up writing that much fanfiction, but all of my brainstorming seems to go towards my fandoms and ships.

              If you’ve already got over a thousands words on a fic then you should definitely finish it. And like I said, I think you’ll get a much more rewarding readership with a Dennis/Dee story. (Though I hope you’ll end up writing Bug and Leah as well at some point!)

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