Fifteen years after “The Riverton Ripper” was killed, seven kids who were born the night of his death have been targeted for death. Is it the return of The Ripper or was his soul really transferred to these seven children? A soul that is ready to reunite its multiple personalities and return from the grave?
Something like that. Remember when you watched “Scream 2” for the first time and said to yourself “hey, not every Wes Craven film can be as good as ‘Nightmare on Elm Street'”? Well, apparently, not every Wes Craven film can be as good as ‘Scream 2’, either. This film is shallow and formulaic. Where Craven has always avoided the cliched teen archetypes in his previous films, they’re all front-and-center here and most of the characters are forgettable or downright unlikeable as a result. On the surface, that’s to account for the Ripper’s multiple personalities, but that’s an overly simple justification. The story is all over the place, as if Craven himself couldn’t decide which way he wanted to go with it and made it up as he went. That’s disappointing. The production, acting, et cetera are good enough – it’s the story (usually Craven’s strong suit) that’s lacking and it really had potential if one story or the other would have been committed to. This film straddles the fence in an attempt to feign suspense – you’re not sure if The Ripper survived all these years or his spirit has returned because apparently neither is The Ripper.
That’s the real problem with this story. For all its moving parts it was really dumbed down – as if Craven wanted to make a thought-provoking, existential whodunit and then decided “teen slasher” would sell better. The result is a jumbled mess that doesn’t work as either.