ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Soul Survivors (2001), PG-13
Analysis Date: September 8, 2001
CAP Score: 20
CAP Influence Density: 1.81

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

SOUL SURVIVORS (PG-13) -- How it got a PG-13 is beyond me.

This movie is clearly worthy of the R rating. There is no doubt. How it got a PG-13 is beyond me. Though chopped down from an R rating, enough was not chopped.

Soul Survivors is a 'things that go bump in the night' flick about a young girl named Cassandra, Cassie for short (Melissa Sagemiller) sent into a coma during a car wreck. While she is in the comma, underworld elements try to drag her into death while her boyfriend Sean (Casey Affleck), who was killed in the wreck, tries to send her back to the living.

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In a middle America town called Middleton, Cassie, Sean, Annabel (Eliza Dushku) and Matt (Wes Bently) decide to have a blowout on their last night together before college. The party at the Theta Pi Sigma fraternity just didn't do it. So, the quartet end of at a goth party. Goth. You know. The cult that wears lots of black leather and challenges every norm, making sure someone is watching as they do so. After a few offensive encounters, the foursome left and Cassie ended up giving Matt the one-last-kiss at his begging. Sean was irked.

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The foursome left the goth set in the same car and Cassie was driving. Needless to say, all if not most of these teens had been drinking and/or were drunk. But that, of course was not the cause of the wreck nor did it even contribute to it according to the writers. The writers even excused the drinking by having Sean from the otherworld tell Cassie it was not her fault, that no one could have avoided the wreck. As it seems true for all teen movies of this caliber, teens are supposed to be able to drink with no consequences, right? Someone in another car had skidded and ended up in the middle of the road. Cassie, who had looked away from the road for only one teeny moment to argue with Sean, plows into the car blocking the road. Then is when Sean dies and Cassie enters a comma state.
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From there appears almost every imaginable surrealistic issue of unholiness and sin. There are even two priests in this otherworld. One priest was a sleaze who tries to sexually invade Cassie, giving fantasy credence to the attempts of the unrighteous movements of our world to try to discredit the many with the evils of a few. The other priest was a good guy named Jude (Luke Wilson) to whom Cassie looks for support who keeps his hands off of her.
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I am not going to go into any great detail about this movie and will let the quite extensive listing of findings in the Findings/Scoring section tell the tale. In a nutshell, there is much teen display of sexual immorality [Prov. 30:12; Eph. 4:19] (including lesbianism, which was appropriately portrayed by a character of unholiness) [Rom. 1:26], much teenage drinking and revelry [1Cor. 10:7], and much display of unholy elements [Lev. 20:6].


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  • Prov. 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
  • Eph. 4:19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
  • Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
  • 1Cor. 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry."
  • Lev. 20:6 I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.

    ***Food for Thought***
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Soul Survivors (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • teen argument behind the steering wheel, causing traffic fatality, injuries and property damage.
  • terror from chasing
  • imagery of massive blood loss
  • flashes of gore and evil
  • stalking
  • attempted murder by drowning
  • fighting
  • blood splattered throughout locker
  • assaults
  • death by defensive maneuvers
  • graphic car hit of pedestrian
  • massive madness in terror

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • death metal/gothic music
  • sexual advance by a priest

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • dress to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure - repeatedly
  • vulgar gestures
  • requests for and offers of sex
  • vulgar dress
  • lesbian pair
  • inappropriate touching
  • sexual comments, innuendo, talk
  • transvestite
  • two girls bathing each other clothed
  • cohabitation
  • boy on girl between her legs, clothed
  • boy in girl's bed with her nude
  • teens in underwear
  • lesbian pair necking with female upper nudity
  • intercourse, unseen
  • lesbian pair sexually involved
  • brief rear female nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • teen smoking - repeatedly
  • teen drinking - repeatedly
  • consuming prescription drugs with alcohol

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • six uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • revelry, mad and bizarre - repeated
  • flash of gothic evil
  • portrayal of the dead controlling the living
  • the dead inviting the living to join the dead
  • people disappearing suddenly
  • evil tattoos
  • portrayal of the dead returning to life
  • mockery of Christ's injuries
  • mockery of Christ's Sacrifice

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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