Judge Daryl Loomis is sometimes known as the Soul Baker because of his awesome cornbread.
Paying the rent was never so deadly.
Finding a nice place to live gets harder and harder all the time. Rents have risen, credit checks have made youthful mistakes devastating, and landlords are continually more intrusive. But everyone needs a place to live, so people make compromises. 4 Dead Girls: The Soultaker, however, is here to remind everybody that, sometimes, things are too good to be true and just because there is a furnished house available for a rate easily afforded by any college student doesn't mean they should take it.
Four young college girls find an apartment even better than the one described above. The creepy landlord, Devlin Chito (Mike Campbell, Immaculate Springs), has equipped it with a state of the art security system, all new appliances, and anything anyone could want for the perfect college place. Things are great for a few days, but they soon find out that there's a catch. Devlin is actually an entity known as the Soultaker, who kills evil women and feeds on their souls to gain power. Of the four women, two are pure as the driven snow, while the others are manipulative sluts. Devlin knows which set will be easy to kill, but it's the other two that will present him with a challenge.
4 Dead Girls: The Soultaker trades in the same old business of people who have sex get killed. Sure, it delivers the skin and the gore that many come to the horror genre to see, but it also makes it dull, predictable, and totally uninspired. I have to give it credit for managing to keep the story moving within the confines of a thousand square foot home, but that doesn't make the story interesting.
Plus, Devlin Chito is one of the dumbest, most inept villains I've seen in horror in a long time. His first name should have tipped the girls off from the first meeting, but even though they recognize he's a creep, it takes some research into his last name before they realize what he might be. According to writers/directors Mike Campbell and Todd Johnson, it means "Soultaker," though the best I can tell is that it's a Spanish spelling of Cheetos. I'm not sure which is worse, but neither the name nor the character is anything but corny.
By all rights, ol' Devlin can materialize wherever he wants and does at certain times, but when it's time to kill, he winds up hiding behind a curtain, watching his victim have sex. So he's a soultaker and a perv, but neither side of that is scary, just stupid. His victims aren't much better and watching four roommates bicker as they are picked off isn't very much fun, no matter how many people they have sex with.
It's a cheap movie and it shows. The effects are pretty shoddy and the direction is awkward, at best. The performances aren't anything special, but they aren't all that bad. Each of the four actresses plays her role correctly, whether she's the good girl, the slut, the nice lesbian, or her mean and cheating girlfriend. The only real downer performance is Campbell's villain, who is cheesy and really lame, much like the movie as a whole.
Breaking Glass presents 4 Dead Girls: The Soultaker in a perfectly average DVD edition. The 1.78:1 anamorphic is decent display for the low budget cinematography. Black levels look relatively deep, with little waver or murkiness. Colors aren't the best, but they perform fine. The stereo sound mix is nothing to write home about, though. The dialog is too loud in the mix, making the rest of the sound difficult to hear when one turns the dialog down to a reasonable level. Otherwise, the dynamic range is limited, but there's no real hiss to speak of.
Extras begin with a featurette that gives interviews with the cast and the director, as well as some behind the scenes footage. At more than twenty minutes, it's a bit long and a bit too effusive about itself, but I suppose they have the right to be proud of their work, even if it isn't very good. A few deleted/extended scenes give viewers more of what they probably don't want: this movie, while a couple of short featurettes on the digital effects close out the disc.
4 Dead Girls: The Soultaker isn't the worst horror movie you're likely to see, but there's nothing about it that makes it worth watching, either; not even a little bit. Sure, it delivers some sex and violence, but that's available in scores of other, better movies. Not recommended.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Breaking Glass
• Deleted Scenes
Review content copyright © 2013 Daryl Loomis; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.