Wes Craven: ‘My Soul to Take’ Is ‘Autobiographical’

Wes Craven, the legendary horror maestro behind the “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” franchises and a bevy of other bone-chilling hits, returns to theaters today with his first writer-director effort in 16 years: the 3-D thriller “My Soul to Take.

So what inspired the filmmaker, who’s certainly kept busy in the directing department lately, to sit down and write his first full-length screenplay since 1994’s “The New Nightmare”? “I just realized that it had been a while since I’d written anything,” he told MTV News recently. “And then, right around the same time, the idea for this movie popped into my head while I was taking a shower.”

But that’s only half the story. “This is also the most autobiographical of all my films,” Craven admitted. We thought this was an interesting thing to say about a movie that tells of the Riverton Ripper, a fabled serial killer with multiple personalities/souls (only one of them a cold-blooded killer partial to gutting people) who returns to murder the seven children born the night he died… so we asked for some clarification.

“My father died when I was four, and the memories I have of him were that I was scared of him,” Craven confided. “I think he had a bad temper, and that always kind of haunted me the rest of my life. I was always wondering who my father was. So that kind of mystery of the father by the son, wondering what of the father is in you that might pop up. That’s one of the themes of the movie, of course.”

Craven’s relationship with his father wasn’t the only aspect of his childhood that informed the movie, however. “I was raised in the Baptist Church — you know, you can’t got to movies, you can’t smoke, you can’t drink, you can’t dance, all those things. I always felt like really naive and innocent in a way I didn’t want to be, especially as I got into junior high and high school… Certainly Max Theirot’s character Bug is an innocent at the beginning of the movie, but he’s not at the end by any means… It’s very much about the fallen angel, in a way, the angel that in order to become a man and know what’s really going on has to lose his wings and learn the tough truths about life.”

For more from Wes, including his decision to make “My Soul to Take” in 3-D, check out the videos above.

Will “My Soul To Take” take in your money at the box office this weekend? Tell us in the comments?