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Robert Downey Jr.,
An author who returns to his hometown to deliver a commencement address to a class of graduating high school students has to deal with his feelings for an old flame as well as the advances of a student who has the hots for him.
A small group of Catholics led by an ailing priest believe that Satan intends to become man, just as God did in the person of Jesus. The writings of a possessed mental patient lead them to Peter Kelson, a writer who studies serial killers. They think it's his body Satan will occupy. The youngest in the group, a teacher named Maya Larkin, goes to Peter to investigate further and to convince him to believe in the possibility of Evil incarnate. Other signs come to him as he and Maya them take a journey full of strange occurrences, self-discovery, and an ultimate showdown. Written by
The film was initially supposed to be released in October 1999. Its trailer was in theaters in Summer 1999. However, due to a flood of "End of the World" movies coming out at the exact same time (End of Days (1999), Stigmata (1999), etc...), the decision was made to delay the film. Its new date was 4 February 2000. However, that date was canceled after the very popular "Scream" franchise staked out that date for Scream 3 (2000). The final release date of 13 October 2000, was finally decided upon, which also happened to be the same exact day as the re-release of The Exorcist (1973). See more »
When Maya and Peter meet for the first time, the word processor screen on his laptop repeatedly changes. The screen alternates between a whole-page layout and split-page depending on the shot. See more »
End of the world as we know it, and I feel... bored.
Look, I'm a sucker for a good eschatological/apocalyptic thriller. Something totally fascinates me about that stuff. After the sheer stupidity of the illogical 'Stigmata' and especially the lame-brained 'End Of Days', I had a lot of hope for 'Lost Souls'. Sadly, it fails to deliver. Hollywood disappoints yet again!
Winona Ryder plays a troubled young woman who believes that Satan is planning on being reborn in human form, and kicking some Christian ass. Ben Chaplin plays a crime writer who Winona thinks is the Devil in waiting. Instead of just shooting him and doing the world a favour, she forms an uneasy relationship with him. What exactly she plans on doing is hard to say. That's the whole problem with this movie. The 'Se7en'-esque visuals are more important than a decent script. The characters motivations don't really make sense, and as soon as the plot looks like it's going to go is some kind of interesting direction, it doesn't. After a certain point you give up even caring what happens, surely a bad sign in a movie where the whole fate of mankind is at stake?!
Ryder used to be effective as alienated teens back in the late 80s in favourites like 'Beetlejuice' and 'Heathers', but lets face facts, movies like this and 'Girl, Interrupted' show how limited her range really is. She hasn't grown as an actress and is basically just not believable.
Ben Chaplin showed some flair for light comedy in 'The Truth About Cats And Dogs', and had a few outstanding moments in Terrence Malik's wildly uneven and overrated 'The Thin Red Line', but he fails to interest here. Ryder and Chaplin don't show any on screen chemistry or rapport, and this sinks the movie even further into terminal boredom.
The talented character actors in the supporting cast - John Hurt, Kevin Baker Hall, Elias Koteas, John Diehl - are all wasted by the dull and cliched script. Add to that one of the most anti-climactic endings in recent memory, and you've got yourself one lame "thriller" that is a real lost opportunity.
If movies about Satanism, demonic possession, Occult conspiracies and/or The-End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It are your scene, avoid this snoozefest and go straight to 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'The Exorcist', both stylish AND genuinely scary classics. After that try the hugely overlooked 80s supernatural Demi Moore flick 'The Seventh Sign', and the more recent Christopher Walken vehicle 'The Prophecy', or the fantastic Spanish comedy/horror 'The Day Of The Beast', both from the mid-90s. These movies all feature more intelligence, originality and suspense than 'Lost Souls' could ever dream of having.
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