Another “deliver us from evil” story tries to bring the horror with a B-Grade cast and a plot we have seen a million times before.
In this supernatural thriller , Winona Ryder plays Maya Larkin who belongs to a group of exorcists. During a botched exorcism, Maya stumbles upon a conspiracy that would lead to the unleashing of Satan on Earth.
During her investigation she uncovers the incumbent body of Satan will be a prominent trial analyst played by Ben Chaplin.
I am not exactly sure where to start with this film. With a running time of only 89 minutes you feel as if the film really never has a chance to gather any real suspense. This is kind of amazing when the whole film feels like a 3 hour one. Coupled with this running time is the ending which for me is one of the lousiest payoffs I have ever seen for a suspense horror film.
This film was directed by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski who worked on “Saving Private Ryan”, “Amistad” and “Schindler’s List”. Kaminski is another in a long line of cinematographers who don’t necessarily make good directors. All the elements we felt visually in his previous films are displayed here but lack vision and cohesion.
The rain, drizzle, worn down and exhausted cast really don’t add anything to the scope of the film.
With an unfeeling plot and harshly scripted dialogue, this film really doesn’t leave a lot of the actors to embrace.
This is evident especially in Ryder. For 90% of the film, Ryder looks like she has been run over by a truck. She lumbers through a lot of the scenes moping and pushing back her heavily matted hair. Chaplin’s portrayal is less cryptic but still very plain and daft. He moves through the motions and tries to react to the supernatural but I never really believed he was apart of the character.
Being delayed for well over 2 years, Lost Souls shows its age and does reflect a lot of why this film was shelved so many times. This film should have been lost in video limbo.
(1 out of 5)
So Says the Soothsayer.
Written: October 11, 2000