If you’re into the horror flicks of the 2000s, you’ll enjoy Soul Mates. This is a throwback of a film that combines two of my favorite things in the horror genre. I love it when a horror film keeps it small and contained. I also love it when they give you a mystery to chew on throughout the whole movie. Soul Mates starts as one thing, looking like it’ll be a commentary on modern dating conventions, and quickly turns into something else.

The film is sharply written by screenwriters Joe Russo and Chris LaMont. It stars Charlie Weber, Annie Ilonzeh, and Neal McDonough. For those who want an official synopsis, here’s the gist of the film.

This psychological thriller with elements of terror follows two unsuspecting strangers, Jason (Charlie Weber) and Allison (Annie Ilonzeh) who find themselves participants in a twisted new dating service, led by the Matchmaker (Neal McDonough), that forces the two singles inside a nightmarish maze designed to help them find their Soul Mate – or die trying.

What really sets Soul Mates apart from other films that are in the “let’s make you play a f*cked up game” genre, is that the proceedings and “games” all feel like they could happen in real life. Taking a look at some of the traps from the Saw franchise, they’re intricate and convoluted. Here, there are more things that couples or people dating would know about each other. It’s a nice take on the genre while still feeling relevant about modern dating.

Neal McDonough looks like he was having far too much fun in his role as The Matchmaker. He’s the one giving all the instructions to Jason and Allison during the film. It’s a charismatic and delightfully evil performance that really makes the film memorable. Charlie Weber and Annie Ilonzeh are also quite good in their roles. They work well together, especially in the beginning of the film as they work out exactly their situation.

Their earnest performances really add to the creepy overall vibe of the film. It feels very voyeuristic with all the cameras and the shots of innocent people while they’re “playing the games.” The most sensual scene in the film is interrupted by The Matchmaker, and it just goes to show that these characters are under constant surveillance.

Where Soul Mates stands out is the execution of the story. This isn’t torture porn or just a body count on film. This smartly written commentary on modern dating (and the evolution of the rich as*hole in our society) is presented as a horror flick. Once you get all the way through, it gets more disgusting from a mental standpoint. There are dangers to dating in the modern world. You put your profile up for all to see and expose yourself to the public.

It might seem jarring near the film’s end, but go through it. The ending of the film is just as satisfying as anything else. If you’re in the mood for a smaller-feeling horror flick, check out Soul Mates. My only real complaint is that we didn’t get more delightfully evil. scenes of Neal McDonough. Through two great leads and a simple premise that expands as you watch the film, Soul Mates is well worth your time.

Soul Mates releases in theaters on October 20th, 2023.

For more on Horror, make sure to check out THS Fright-A-Thon, the Halloween content marathon.

Keep Reading: