In "Soul Survivors" a relatively inventive horror movie concept is used as a launching pad for a pathetic parade of standard-issue jumps and frights that can't raise a single goosebump.
The concept (which owes a debt to Adrian Lyne's mind-melting "Jacob's Ladder") is that an angelic coed (Melissa Sagemiller, "Get Over It") becomes haunted by nightmares and vision of her dead boyfriend (Casey Affleck) after he's killed in a car wreck while she was behind the wheel. The girl begins to lose her grip on what's real and what she imagines while her cryptic best friends (Wes Bentley and Eliza Dushku) try to keep her sane.
But two post-production revamps -- one without writer-director Steve Carpenter -- left the film with laughably conspicuous trims for the sake of a belated, teen-friendly PG-13 declawing (now that theaters are enforcing the R rating). All that remains of the story's slight creative promise is a transparent and very pedestrian chiller without chills.
Continue reading: Soul Survivors Review
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.