"Nothing slightly interesting, nor creepy about this dull dreck."
I wouldn't exactly say I was anticipating "Lost Souls," but I was interested enough to want to see it. One supposes that it might have been a bad sign that this has been held back for about a year, and during the actual movie, its egregiousness really begins to show its real colors.I think we've had enough devil movies over the past year, or absence of God movies --perfidy of characters, where the planet is thrown off by odd occurrences as in "Stigmata," "End of Days," "Dogma," "The Third Miracle," "The Ninth Gate," and "Bless the Child" just to name a few off the top of my head. It's really becoming an extremely banal and stolid subject to film, and the lassitude award-winning cinematographer-cum-director Janusz Kaminski approaches "Lost Souls" with exemplifies the lack of interest.
This deals with a young woman (Winona Ryder) who makes it her job to help an author (Ben Chaplin) who is the devil's incarnation or equivalent or Christ, try to escape it. Kind of like a very weak and unimaginative version and continuation of "Rosemary's Baby" 33 years later. The story is just very boring and plain --it covers no new ground and offers no new perspectives.
As far as I'm concerned with Kaminski, for someone who photographs such beautiful images (he won the Oscar for "Saving Private Ryan") he debuts as a director with an awfully ugly movie, all streaming lights, grainy, shadowy photography. The camera operates like a dog sniffing all the objects it can reach --a very annoying and unappealing gimmick.
All that "Lost Souls" adds up to is scattered logic. The movie isn't worth the time of day for discussion, because any angle it thinks its tackling has of lately become very cliché. Even if this would have been released earlier, the weak story wouldn't have held up and it would have come across just as dippy. There's no tense or frightening moments, nothing scary or creepy --it's a clunker. There's only a dragging story, additional manipulation of children in movies (for more, see "Beautiful"), and an overall lackadaisical malevolence in this. The only supernatural thing is how Kaminski chose this for his debut.
Ryder at least looked her best and most appealing since "Beetlejuice." Chaplin came off very unskilled and phony. He looked constantly as if he had no feeling in his mouth.
With John Hurt, Alfre Woodard, Elias Koteas and Philip Seymour Hoffman.Final Verdict: F.