Arielle Olkhovsky

Monster Reviews: My Soul To Keep 2019

Monster Reviews: My Soul To Keep 2019

When you’re younger, life is full of wondrous mysteries and hidden magic. At times you feel as if you have a real connection with the universe. You believe you’re invincible, and the stories of monsters and the things lurking in the shadows are just a little less frightening.

My Soul to Keep is a 2019 horror film, written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad. It stars Parker Smerek, Remington Gielniak, Arielle Olkhovsky, Brandon Matthew Layne, Maria Wasikowski and Emmanuelle Turco. Nine-year-old Eli Braverman believes that there’s a monster living in his basement, and it’s trying to steal his soul.

This film is absolutely brilliant. A beautifully stylized throwback to the classic monster movies of the ’80s. The filmmakers manage to expertly capture the essence of what it’s like to be a child. It’s scary, imaginative, pulse-pounding fun.

MSTK is one of those films that really stick with you. It elicits a strong emotional response and really tugs at the heartstrings. You’re immediately hooked and constantly on the edge of your seat – drawn like a moth to a flame. The performances are strong, captivating and truly incredible. 

The acting in this film is excellent. Parker Smerek is fantastic as the main character Eli. You build a bond with the kid and can’t help but root for him in his quest against the so-called Burgly Monster. Remington Gielniak is also great as Eli’s best friend Sam. Gielniak is charming and hilarious and keeps the film upbeat despite its grim, threatening tone. The two actors seem to have real chemistry which translates perfectly to film.

Another great performance came from Arielle Olkhovsky as Hillary, the girl in Eli’s class who has a crush on our main protagonist. She’s mesmerizing and engaging, regardless of her limited screen time. However, the best portrayals come in the form of Brandon Matthew Layne as Eli’s dad and Emmanuelle Turco as Eli’s evil older sister.

Turco is fantastic as the mean, wicked older sister. She plays the part well and really sells the sibling rivalry. The best though comes from Brandon Matthew Layne as Eli’s dad. He’s the perfect father figure and without a doubt binds the family together. He adds a believable and genuine appeal.

The sets are gorgeous and the exceptional use of angles and shadowing helps raise the creep factor. The editing is great and the costumes and makeup are terrific. However, the thing that escalates the tension is the score. It helps build the dark and menacing mood which seems to loom throughout, like a boogeyman stalking its prey. 

My Soul to Keep is an instant classic. A terrifying monster masterpiece. It’s original, spooky, nightmarish fun. It’ll scare the crap out of you. It’s an extraordinary, brilliant tale with one seriously shocking ending that you have to see to believe.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, Monster Reviews, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments