This Buffy The Vampire Slayer Star Was In A Truly Baffling 2000s Horror Movie
Best known for playing Faith on buffy the vampire slayerEliza Dushku is also famous for starring in Bring it down, dolls houseand True Calling. The actress was also part of a 2000s horror movie that many may not even know existed: soul survivors.
The film was released in 2001 and it’s fair to say that it didn’t impress horror fans or critics much, nor did it make much money at the box office. Although the story is interesting and the movie has a great college setting, soul survivors does its audience a disservice when it comes to storytelling and is ultimately a disappointing horror movie. By the time audiences get to the end, they’ll be confused by what they just watched, and they’ll definitely have some thoughts about what the movie should have looked like instead.
soul survivors has a pretty simple story: Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) is in college and after going to a club with her pals Matt (Wes Bentley), Annabel (Eliza Dushku) and her boyfriend Sean (Casey Affleck), their car is crashes and Sean dies. It’s quite interesting, as Cassie is now grieving and wondering how to live without the person she loves, creating depth and emotion for the rest of the film. Unfortunately, soul survivors is a horror movie that wastes a good idea.
The movie feels a bit like a weird fever dream, with random characters popping in and out, and nothing really landing. When Cassie goes to a club, she sees her friend Annabel with Raven (Angela Featherstone), and Raven says Cassie should “leave or die”. Cassie also continues to see characters referred to as “Hideous Dancer” and “Deathmask” throughout the film. At first, she sees them at the club at the start of the film. These names are so ridiculous that it’s hard to take the movie seriously, especially since it’s supposed to be terrifying.
One of the worst parts of the movie is Father Jude (Luke Wilson), who is supposed to help Cassie through her grief and talks to her whenever she needs someone to listen. Having a priest is often a horror or thriller trope as this type of character can offer their knowledge, expertise, and deep thoughts. It’s rarely done well and, on the contrary, it gives the impression of being corny. Eliza Dushku’s acting skills are also wasted here. While Dushku often plays strong, tough, and compelling characters, none of the characters here seem to have bold or interesting personalities. Matt, Cassie, and Sean in particular are cookie-cutter students, leaving audiences wondering how to really tell them apart.
soul survivors has a crazy ending that really doesn’t make any sense. Turns out Hideous Dancer, Deathmask, and Raven were in the other car, which is why Cassie keeps seeing them everywhere. It also turns out that Cassie and Sean survived the car accident. Matt and Annabel are the ones who died. Matt and Annabel want to keep Cassie dead and that’s why she thought they were the ones who were still alive. At the end of the film, Cassie and Sean are together again, and Cassie in the hospital, wanting to live.
While the movie isn’t scary, it’s fair to say that the ending ruins any hope the movie had of looking horrible. If Cassie really saw the ghosts of her dead friends, it would at least make the movie scary, weird, and watchable. Instead, the audience is told that nothing wild or unnerving really happened and Cassie and Sean are both survivors of the car crash. This ending feels like such a disappointment and since the movie itself isn’t very exciting, it adds up to an inspiring movie-watching experience. It’s also confusing that Sean is still alive, as it’s unclear where he’s been and how he fits into all of this.
A main character haunted by the spirits of his best friends while dealing with survivor’s guilt would make for a great movie. It would be scary, have a solid main storyline, and provide the opportunity for a great conclusion. Instead, the audience gets a main character who isn’t fun to watch and keeps seeing random characters here and there, which doesn’t make for a satisfying package.
There are many underrated horror movies from the 2000s, but soul survivors is not one. It’s a huge cliche for a main character to say that “it was all just a dream” and the events of the story didn’t actually happen, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. Instead of doing soul survivors a thrilling ghost story, much like The night house talk about heartbreak, the 2000s horror movie is going in a weird direction.
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