A group of Catholics go to a mental institution to perform exorcism in the murderer George Viznik (Brad Greenquist). Father Lareaux (Sir John Hurt), Deacon John Townsend (Elias Koteas), Father Frank Page (Brian Reddy), and the teacher Maya Larkin (Winona Ryder), who was possessed and exorcised in the past, unsuccessfully try to exorcise the man and Father Lareaux is deeply affected and falls into a coma. Maya brings the Viznik's coded writings and after deciphering it, she concludes that the writer Peter Kelson (Ben Chaplin) might be the Antichrist to be incarnated by Satan. She seeks him out but the atheist Peter, who has been raised by his uncle Father James (Philip Baker Hall), does not believe in her. But when strange things happen to him, Peter meets Maya and they investigate together the chance to save his soul.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This movie 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 same time (End of Days (1999), Stigmata (1999), et cetera), the decision was made to delay the release. Its new date was February 4, 2000. However, that date was cancelled, after the popular "Scream" franchise staked out that date for Scream 3 (2000). The final release date of October 13, 2000, was finally decided upon, which also happened to be the same day as the re-release of The Exorcist (1973). See more »
(at around 2 mins) The film opens with a caption purporting to be a Bible verse: ". 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 »
Look at you. Come here. I told you, you've got to double-knot those things. One of these days we'll have to get you some zipper shoes.
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The initial credits appear as numbers morphing into letters plus a reversed shadow. 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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