Hey gang, Valkor here. And as the month of September nears an end, I need to prep the Val-cave for one of my favorite months of the year – Halloween. It's not so much about the costumes, candy, that sorta thing. I'm all about the films and the deluge I'll receive and have to wade through. Some will be good and others will be used for skeet. So to get things started a little early, we take a look at a horror film that has some serious religious overtones – 5 Souls. I thought it was going to be preachy and it kinda is. But don't let that deter you… unless you're the atheist type. Caution, spoilers ahead my friends.
5 Souls runs two stories parallel and brings them to unpredictable and shocking end. On one side we have Sam (Steve Bacic) whose wife and daughter were killed when a building collapsed on top of them. He's on a personal vendetta, out to pin the deaths of his family on one company – Bickman Intl. He hooks up with a detective, Sara (Allison McAtee), who also has it out for Bickman. So, the two team up as they work towards the same goal.
Then you have Noah (Ian Bohen), who's the real reason why this film is called "5 Souls". He pays a doctor a visit and is overdosed on a series of vaccinations. Near death, Noah meets… well Death or Satan (Steven Schub), he states he was an Angel once. For the sake of this review I'll call him Death as it makes more sense. Death is about to take Noah's life but stops short, giving him a fighting chance by allowing him to perform a simple task – kill five people and he can go on living, or he'll wind up in hell. The downside of having to take a life is that Noah has to deal with the souls that come to confront. But all is not loss for Noah as there is a shining glimmer of hope in the form blind patient named Jessica (Kristina Anapau), who offers Noah a way out of his predicament, but he has to choose to walk the path.
So how do the two stories come together? Sam and Sara are closing in on just how they can nail Bickman for the deaths of the people killed in two different building collapses and both can be traced back to Noah's fiancé Miranda (Samaire Armstrong). And that brings us to the final arc where Sam and Sara go to confront Miranda and Noah must make the ultimate decision concerning his life or afterlife.
5 Souls is another film where I liked the idea of it, but the execution isn't pulled off properly. If this were a one hour Twilight Zone episode, I could totally buy into it. But as it stands, it's looking kinda shaky and I'll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
If only 5 souls stuck with the "five souls" aspect of the film rather than head off into Sam's story, I would have enjoyed the film that much more. It's not exactly the scariest film around but I wouldn't pass on it if I had to watch it,say during Halloween. The idea of Noah, having to decide to take these lives to save his own works so well and so much more could have been done to expand on his decisions such as touching on the good and bad choices he's made in his life and how that might reflect on his current predicament. But then maybe that would have been "too preachy"? Maybe. The ending works for me and honestly, I didn't expect it to go in that direction. I wasn't even going to review this film because I thought it was "too religious" and I thought it would end preachy, but it didn't. And I'm glad as that ending worked! Ian Bohen's acting completes the package as you can see how taking those lives affected him – it really breaks him down and you just feel so bad for him. But then he did make that decision and he could have just gone straight to hell. Steven Schub is my dude; he plays one devious mofo in the form of Death. He's not out and out nasty, just really twisted and it works so well. Finally, PerfectView hotness goes out to Kristina Anapau and to answer the question that Noah didn't: dat ass was nice! But ultimately she's just the yummiest slice of pie I've laid eyes on… this week. After that, what's exactly wrong with 5 Souls?
Well… a lot! But to keep things condense, Sam's story didn't need to be a major plot point because it doesn't really pan out to anything. How the film ends, there's never going to be closure for him – ever! He'll never really know who was truly responsible for his wife and kid's death. And if you take away his story, refining the 5 Souls aspect, then it was never really necessary to begin with. Everything about Sam's story sucks out any life of this film. I also didn't like Noah's attitude at the end as he appears to accept his fate a little too soon and he suddenly develops this weasely attitude. Finally, and this goes back to Noah, you're initially lead to believe that he's physically doing the killings but after he kills the first patient and a nurses passes right by him, you realize that he might be a walking spirit. However, you're never given any clear indication of when he's supposed to be half dead or a lively ghost. You're just supposed to know.
5 Souls is available now and it makes for a decent addition into any Halloween film rotation; though the plot is a bit flimsy, there's enough here to keep you interested. And if all else fails, you have the perfect film to MST3K the shit out of it. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give 5 Souls a 2.5.