Hunting Souls



Main Cast: Aiden Turner, Sunny Mabrey

Director: Diego Silva Acevedo

Okay, lemme burn through the HUNTING SOULS plot as quickly as I can; I got work today.

Little girl Sophie (Chloe and Sophie Garcia-Frizzi, The Walking Dead) has been having bad dreams lately, and so has her father, Mike (Aiden Turner, All My Children).  One night Mike wakes up from a bad dream and his wife Angie (Sunny Mabrey, SNAKES ON A PLANE) tells him to go back to sleep.  Lay down, get some sleep, and have a drink of water, she tells him.  But before Mike can do any of those things, he sees Sophie at the foot of the bed.

He keeps talking to her, asking her what’s wrong, while Angie doesn’t see anything. Then they hear Sophie in her room calling for her dad and Mike goes to see what’s wrong. He notices she’s got a fever and he calls for Angie to bring him something to help.  By the time Angie gets there Sophie is unconscious and they are immediately taking her to the hospital where, listening to the doctor talk, they’ve been there a lot recently.

The doctor, while checking Sophie out, notices some marks on her back, to which Sophie says, “Oh wow!” and Angie and Mike have no idea where they came from.

Mike goes to work the next day where his boss tells him I know you’ve got personal problems, you had to take a day off when your kid’s best friend died, then your daughter got sick … you have a wife, can’t she stay home with the kid in the day?  Look, Mike, shape up or ship out, basically, now get back to work, to which Mike replies, “Thank you, sir,” and goes back to work.

Mike calls the mother of Sophie’s dead friend Carl, saying Sophie has symptoms similar to Carl’s, did they ever find out what killed him?  As soon as Mike mentions Carl, though, the mother says she can’t talk to him and hangs up.  But that’s okay, because he later goes to her house and after she says she doesn’t want to talk about it, she then comes outside to talk to him about it.

That night Mike has a dream in which something is in the house and … wow, this is going on way too long.  Let’s cut to the chase.  The kid is being stalked by a demon that wants to possess her. Mike has a work friend who has a girlfriend that is into the spiritual world stuff and knows all about possession and how to perform an exorcism, so that’s good.

And then eventually HUNTING SOULS ended or something and I flipped from Freevee over to Pluto to see what was on Rifftrax before my wife got home from band practice.

Holy crap, this movie.  Written and directed by Diego Silva Acevedo, HUNTING SOULS was shot competently enough, the lighting was decent if a bit low budget and the sets were just clean enough to look professional, but in the end maybe TOO perfect?  The house definitely looked like they were using someone’s house and didn’t want to mess it up too much because the family was coming back that night.  But while the movie LOOKED decent … the biggest problem I had were with the other things that matter.

The script for HUNTING SOULS was…….holy good God Acevedo, that’s NOT good.  And that super weak script just came across even worse when said by these actors.  Not to hold anything against Turner or Mabrey, they’ve both got plenty of credits (502 episodes of All My Children for Turner, while Mabrey has been in every TV movie and series you have and haven’t heard of—Without a Trace, Monk, Desperate Housewives, Memphis Beat, The Glades, Llama Cop, Reckless, plus HOLIDAY BREAKUP, ESCAPING DAD, THE PERFECT MOTHER, THE WRONG PATIENT and A UNICORN FOR CHRISTMAS), but all of that experience counted for absolutely nothing against this script.

It’s almost like Acevedo didn’t trust his audience any further than he could throw them, so he had to feed them every little detail. Every other line is either exposition or explanation or a nudge to keep the plot moving.  This honestly could have been an audiodrama and we’d have gotten nearly the same amount of detail.

However.  I can’t say much about the look of HUNTING SOULS, aside from what I already said about the set.  Acevedo seems to be a good enough director, nothing here took me out of the movie.  For the most part, every scene where no one was talking was well-done.  It’s just the talking that was a mess.

And while I know a lot of the terrible dialogue contributed to the poor performances, sometimes it wasn’t the script, it was the acting 100%.  I hate to crush a kid’s dream, but Sophie is played by twins Chloe and Sophie Garcia-Frizzi.  One of them, apparently, played Judith Grimes from 2015-2019 on The Walking Dead and that must have been little, pre-vocal Judith, because wow.  The fewer lines these girls had, the better every scene was.  This is NOT the track these kids need to be on, and if it IS, someone needs to either invest in serious lessons, or just hold off until they get a bit older and can better comprehend what’s going on around them, because the Fanning girls these kids are NOT.  Sorry.

And then we get to that ending.  I have no idea what’s happening in this ending, and I watched this entire movie.  I’m not gonna spoil it here just in case ANYONE else out there decides to see this movie based on this review—which I would not suggest unless you need a dose of terrible movie one night—but I will say if you get to the end and you know what it means, please tell me.

I think HUNTING SOULS wanted to be good.  I think the people making it wanted to make a good movie.  I even think maybe they thought that’s what they were doing while making it.  It wasn’t, and they weren’t.  Do I think the idea could have been saved?  I do.  I think the idea is one that’s been done well enough times in the past that this COULD have been a decent movie, or at least a much better movie than it is, with some outside help.  It definitely needed some help with the script, and I think at times Acevedo maybe just didn’t have time in any of the four locations this movie has to really get the performances he was looking for. 

The only way in hell I would recommend HUNTING SOULS is if, like I said, you have nothing to do some night and you WANT to watch a bad movie.  If you and your friends are funny, or think you’re funny, and you’ve had a few beers and want to do your own MST3k on something, this would be the perfect movie to try it on.  But if you’re looking for an honest to God horror movie, this isn’t the one.

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