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Robert Downey Jr.,
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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 »
The film opens with a caption purporting to be a Bible verse: "A man born of incest will become Satan. And the world as we know it will be no more. (Deuteronomy 17)" In fact, there is no such passage in any part of the Bible. See more »
The fact that so many people hated this film comes as no surprise to me, but not, I believe, because it was a bad film. On the contrary this was a superb film that has, for those willing to look beneath the surface, a much deeper story to be told.
Simply put, the film is not 'feel-good'. The subject matter is disturbing, and challenges one's view of religion and belief in the existence of God and Satan.
As we are taken through the film, the director immerses us in the world Maya Larkin (played very well by Winona Ryder), a person who has previously been demonically possessed. She discovers that a semi-famous author, Peter Kelson (played by Ben Chaplin) is about to become the antichrist incarnate, and obviously sets out to prevent this event.
The plot develops slowly, but inevitably. Excellent use of sound and lighting create a chilling atmosphere, in which it becomes difficult to separate reality from the horrors which the victims have to face. As we approach the climax of the film, things start happening faster and faster, and the plot becomes intentionally a bit confusing. As an audience we are made to empathize with the lead characters as they realise time is running out and their course of action remains unclear, and that all they can do is ride along and try to figure out what is happening before it is too late.
The themes drawn upon in this film are very similar to those in "End of Days" but with far more emphasis placed on the psychological drama - more like "Stigmata" - than on the action and special effects of "End of Days", making Lost Souls in my opinion a far better film.
Be prepared for a major plot twist at the end. The director does not state the obvious, yet we are given clues throughout the film, many of which make little or no sense at the time they are portrayed, but which snap into place if you get the ending. The sudden conclusion and lack of any final explanation communicate the intent clearly enough and left me feeling a bit blown away - although in my opinion left most of the audience feeling confused and let down, expecting more and wondering what happened.
If you can appreciate a well crafted, and subtle film, and prefer a movie that makes you think, and does not necessarily have happy messages, then you should enjoy this film. It forces you into thinking about it, and by no means classifies as light entertainment. If you go to movies to be entertained by action and easy to follow plots, then stay clear - this film was never intended to appeal to most people.
Personally I have seen far too many of those films in recent months and found Lost Souls to be remarkably refreshing.
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