A group of Catholics go to a mental institution to perform exorcism in the murderer George Viznik. Father Lareaux, Deacon John Townsend, Father Frank Pageand the teacher Maya Larkin, 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 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, 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
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 same time (End of Days (1999), Stigmata (1999), et cetera), the decision was made to delay the film. 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 »
The thumb visible in the close-up of the scene in which Peter is preparing a fishing bait isn't his. 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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