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Lost Souls

Director:Janusz Kaminski
Writer:Pierce Gardner
New Line Cinema; R; 102 minutes
Release:10/00
Cast:Winona Ryder, Ben Chaplin, Philip Baker Hall

Y2K apocalypse worries came and went, leaving us with a series of Satan-inspired Armageddon flicks that linger like bad hangovers. Lost Souls trails in the rear of this funereal procession, shuffling its feet along with Stigmata, The End of Days, and Bless the Child. As usual, the world's about to end unless mortals with gumption can thwart the Devil's master plan.

Winona Ryder holds court as a former subject of an exorcism, Maya Larkin. Fully recovered from demon troubles, she's developed into an advanced Catholic occultist in her own right. Using notes gathered by a possessed serial killer, Maya deciphers that the Antichrist will emerge in the body of best-selling crime author Peter Kelson (Ben Chaplin). Kelson, needless to say, is skeptical. Ominous incidents foment into full Satanic menace as Maya and her team of exorcists battle against pure lucid evil.

Written down, the plot sounds passable. Meg Ryan produced it; Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan) directed it. Visually, he still manages to capture some nice moments. If Lost Souls was released on its completion in 1998, it may have garnered more success. Then, as now, it wouldn't have been particularly suspenseful or scary, but the vacuous spooky style might have been a little fresher.


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