Wes Craven’s My Soul To Take Post-Mortem plus Scream 4 Update

A report is in from the New York Times TimesTalks event that Wes Craven attended. While there was Scream 4 chatter (see further below), we were really interested in what he had to say about My Soul To Take, which will hopefully find its audience on home formats after suffering the high-pressure theatrical environment.

“I’ll tell you right now, being blindingly honest,” he said, “I have a film out I poured my heart and soul into for four years and it’s doing poorly. It’s had horrible reviews, I feel lanced and torn apart and scared I’ll never work again. I’ve had things like this happen in my career over a period of time. I’ve made films that didn’t do well, two films in a row that didn’t do well. When I wrote ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ I’d been out of work for quite a while, I tried three years to get someone to take it seriously. I’ve been out of work, I’ve lost all the money I had at times when I thought I’d be set for life. I think there’s something about it that’s very surreal. I get very nervous when people introduce me as ‘the master of horror’, I don’t feel worthy of that whatsoever. There’s tons of guys out there doing great stuff. I kind of feel like a cat on a hot tin roof, I don’t know how long I can last. I’ve gone 40 years, I was thinking of doing one more decade but maybe I’ll retire, I can’t tell.”

And on Scream 4:

“We just finished shooting about two weeks ago. My voice is still hoarse because I was doing press on ‘My Soul To Take’ at the same time I was shooting ‘Scream’. It’s in the editing room, we’ll probably have a first cut in about a month.”

“It’s been ten years since the last ‘Scream’ so it’s a look back at that decade in film. Two of the central character kids are in the film club, and are trying to solve the crime of who’s the killer by seeing how it’s working in the context of genre filmmaking today. It’s in the grand scheme of ‘Scream’ but looking at the culture of kids who like that kind of film.”

“This whole concept of ‘rules’,” he continued, “I’ve always been leery of the whole concept because a rule is essentially a cliché, and the first thing you want to do is not use the cliché, but it’s fun to play with clichés, to have something onscreen that appears to be a cliché, and then of course you have to subvert the cliché. I think the ‘Scream’ franchise has always been about doing the opposite of what we expect.”

Read the full article here at Shock Till You Drop.

Pictured – Neve Campbell at the My Soul To Take theatrical premiere early in the month.

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18 Responses to “ Wes Craven’s My Soul To Take Post-Mortem plus Scream 4 Update ”

Reader Advisory: Comments may contain SCREAM 4 SPOILERS
  1. Hmm! So! Rory and Eik are trying to find out who is behind the murders? They’re part of the High School film club, but! In the trailer we see Hayden and Nick in the class, so it could easily be those two. I was expecting one of the killers to be one of the new ‘younger’ cast.

    But, hey! A first cut of the film in around a month :)

  2. Poor Wes. I hate that My Soul to Take didn’t do better in theaters…but neither did SCREAM at first…maybe it’ll build up?

  3. Wes will always be the master of horror, no matter what.

  4. That’s the most depressing this I’ve ever read. It’s okay Wes!

  5. That’s the most depressing this I’ve ever read. It’s okay Wes!

  6. Scream was a massive hit for a slasher, there was never a moment where it could have been said it wasn’t doing well. MSTT is toast, too late for it to build up now. Could do well on DVD? Sounds really gutted though. Sucks for him. At least he’s got Scream opening next year with all the pomp and press you could ask for.

  7. Poor Wes. I did not hate “My Soul to Take.” I thought it was one weird/odd slasher flick. I think the film will find an audience over time.

  8. My Soul To Take is amazing, God bless Wes Craven! He IS the master of horror. He’s an amazing one of a kind director.

  9. This is disturbing news for “Scream” if you ask me. Will there not be a new trilogy now? It’s looking very likely that it’s been cancelled, especially if Wes is boo-hooing that he might as well just retire instead of working for another decade. But is this just the nature of Wes Craven? Make a great movie, then act like your life is worse than everyone else’s. He’s always whining about something — whines about not making enough money off Freddy Krueger, whines about not directing a non-horror film, whines about the Nightmare on Elm Street remake (granted, that deserved whining), whines about films flopping, etc. Then he usually gets what he wants after whining. Take Wes with a grain of salt. He knows “Scream 4″ is gonna be big. Why whine when he’s got that lined up? Also, couldn’t he tell that he was making a movie that was gonna be a big bomb? It may not be a bad movie (I haven’t seen it) but it’s not really the kind of film audiences want to see these days. It just wasn’t the right time. He should have waited until AFTER “Scream 4″, when his name becomes big again, to release that movie.

  10. I don’t think Wes Craven is whining at all. He was asked a question and he answered honestly. I think anyone would be a little down if you worked on a movie for a very long time and it turned out that many people weren’t interested. Who are you ? You’re writing this as if you have known Wes Craven for your whole life

  11. I admire Wes’ openness, his honesty and his showing of emotions, but I can’t help but be surprised by how much he said, and how negative and down it was. Lanced, torn apart, scared he’ll never work again? “Woe is me, I was out of work, I lost all of my money, I’m not the master of horror, I’m not worthy, everyone’s better than me, I’m a CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. I’ve been in this business for 40 years, I was thinking of going for another 10, but oh god! What is the point now?! My last film flopped!”

    Get a grip on yourself, Wes! This is why I’m worried about “Scream 4″ now — and the fate of the rest of the new trilogy. The positive energy just seems so drained. And to answer your question, KevinW, I’m just a fan. Who are you supposed to be? Kevin Williamson? Cause if you are, you ought to come out right now and tell us what the deal is with your involvement with “Scream 4″ and if Ehren Kruger really took over or whatever happened and if you’re going to be writing anymore “Scream” movies. We’re all still wondering in “Scream” land. But you might be Kevin Wilson or Kevin Walters, too, so, ignore that if you’re not Williamson. But if you are, then, well, the fate of the “Scream” series explains my anxiety right now. I want to see more great chapters in the “Scream” saga for parts 4, 5 and 6. I want Wes and Kevin totally on board. So, I don’t want Wes to be a crying mess!

  12. I appreciate Wes’ honesty, but it seems like he’s in dire need of a reality check. Before he has a nervous breakdown about losing everything, I suggest he go outside of Hollywood and meet some people who truly have nothing. Some people have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep. This multimillionaire is rethinking his whole career because one movie didn’t do well. Sheesh. I’m losing a lot of respect for Wes this year. Every time he opens his mouth to speak about My Soul to Take it makes me sick. People hated it. Get over it. People are lucky to do one successful thing and he’s made a large handful of incredibly popular films. He seems to think they should all be incredibly popular. Again, he’s in dire need of a reality check.

  13. I think he is pretty honest. No one creates something that is a piece of poo, unless its intended. I am glad he speaks out. I admire his honesty. I attend art school and defend my work all the time. You have to own your work and not let what others say bring you down. BTW not everyone hated it, do not make blanket statements.

  14. awsome!

  15. Everyone who matters hated it. You can lump critics in one group and movie goers in another group. Yes, people might have their individual opinions, but nobody cares. If the majority of critics hated it and the majority of movie goers hated it, you can safely say “everyone hated it.” It was a critical and commercial failure. I doubt he gets any comfort from knowing that 29 random people spread out throughout the world enjoyed it. Obviously he doesn’t or he wouldn’t be talking retirement.

  16. This is what I expected as far as the films reaction (I am wrong most of the time). That said, Wes Craven will continue to make movies most likely. I think he’s a product of the career he’s had and the high pressure world of filmmaking getting worse now that losing money means more than ever.
    The trailer for scream 4 has me excited for a scream movie, not the new benchmark in horror cinema. We must remember the advertising side is key in priming us to come out and spend money on a product.
    Lets wait and see what we are delivered in Scream 4 and if it sucks, oh well. It doesn’t mean Scream was any less of a movie.

  17. When Wes is discussing being out of work and having no money he’s talking about earlier in his career when he was trying to shop “A Nightmare on Elm Street” around (a process that took something like 5 years if I remember the stories right). But, sure, he may be using a bit of hyperbole when he says felt “lanced” and “torn apart”, but are you guys artists? Do you have ANY idea what it feels like to have something you created be greeted the way “My Soul to Take” was? I doubt it. Especially since he not only directed, but wrote it and he has stated how personal it was to him.

  18. The thing is, Wes Craven can not do movies that rely on characterization like “My Soul to take”. He needs to stick to cliches and campy horror. he really understands nothing about people and what motivates them, and has no real concept of grey areas either. All he knows is monster bad, human good. He needs to stick to Scream or Nightmare on Elm Street. He can’t even get vampires right because they are too close to humans. He needs monsters that are simply without much character.

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