In the understood rules of horror films, there is always the survivor. Most of the time, it is a female role, and most of the time, she’s a brunette (a la Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween”, Neve Campbell in “Scream”, etc.). Here, in “Soul Killer”, we follow Natalie (Kelly Chambers) through her efforts to survive and battle a killer that may not exactly be flesh and blood. She is definitely a throwback to the horror scream queens of the past several years, displaying strength and vulernability in tandem as the story progresses and the killer begins killing people closer to her.
The film starts off with a bang, but then screeches to a halt as we are introduced to Natalie and thrust into her boring workspace at an advertising agency as she competes for a job promotion. While this is necessary to gain the audience’s trust in her, this takes up the first thirty minutes of the film as we watch petty co-workers battle with snippy one liners against Natalie. It is easy to find a hatred for Natalie’s chauvinistic boss and snarky, slutty co-worker, and within minutes, you’re hoping for them to become the next victims of the soul killer.
I enjoyed Kelly Chambers playing Natalie, as her strength in the character truly makes the film what it is. The soul killer and his costume- a seemingly rip off from Scream’s Ghost Face- make for an entertaining, faceless killer that really leaves you hanging until Natalie figures out who the killer could truly be. The other actors do a decent job of supporting Chambers’ Natalie, especially Paul Marquecho’s over the top James- Natalie’s boss. His sexist lines and third person comments add a bit of humor and keep the mood light for a good section of the film. The overall idea of the film is intriguing and definitely not one that has been explored before, and writer/ director Bob Canode has done a great job to employ tactics that are underused in other films or that haven’t been utilized.
The film has a great look, and the cinematographer, Jeremy Vereecke, utilizes several enticing angles that separate this film from other standard horror films. The music is a bit over the top, as is the story, and borders on a slightly comedic supernatural vibe, but with both acting in tandem, the film carries a good tone throughout it. There is somewhat of a moral, which is carried over from the classic slashers of the 80’s: you sin, you die. Whether it be drugs, theft, or sex, the soul killer has it out for them. With the astral projection part added, it makes for a good watch, filled with jump scares, ridiculous humor, and cheering for Natalie to survive and beat the soul killer!