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The Lost (2006)
13th Jun 09
Hanging out with friends Tim and Jennifer at the campground, sociopath Ray Pye thinks it will be a cool idea to kill two girls he has spied nearby. Four years later the crime remains unsolved, however Ray finds he is being harassed by the local cop who knows he has his man in Ray but just has to prove it. When new girl Katherine Wallace becomes involved with Ray, she sets in motion a series of events that leads to a shocking finale.
Review The Lost is based upon Jack Ketchum’s 2001 book of the same name and is considered to be one of his better known. The book was based on a real-life teenage serial killer Charles Schmid. Ketchum must have been pleased with director Chris Sivertson's adaptation as not only does he act as an executive producer, he also provides a commentary for the disc, which was not available on the preview copy.
Sivertson, who also produces, was previously responsible for the Lyndsey Lohan turkey I Know Who Killed Me, which won a wodge of Golden Raspberries - gongs handed out around Oscar time to the worst movies of that year. It wasn't all bad news for him though, he got to work with Marc Senter, an actor who proves his worth in The Lost as the psychotic lead Ray Pye.
Nutball Ray Pye, is all slicked back jet black hair and far too much eye make-up like some New Romantic that had yet to realise that time has marched on. He walks like he wants to be cocksure and instead limps like he took one too hard up the arse. Yet Senter still convinces as a manipulative lead fully coming into his own during the film’s piece de resistance at the climax.
At the end he goes a bit Hungerford Massacre shooting his mum and then strolling around the town not caring who sees him doing what to whom. Bloodied, unpredictable and wielding a gun, Senter makes good, stepping out of the shadow of what had till then been an American Psycho impersonation and pulls out all the stops for a heart stopping finale.
Between the attention grabbing opening and the blood splattered ending The Lost lives up to its title, meandering around subplots which may mean Sivertson’s script remains true to its source, but makes for a fairly dull and plodding mid-section. What does keep proceedings buoyed up slightly during this lull is some commendable acting.
Michael Bowen, who plays Detective Charles Schilling, gives good value badgering Ray every opportunity he can, knowing that he is responsible for the two unsolved murders, if only he can prove it.
Megan Henning, as the new girl Sally Richmond working at Ray's motel, is a face to watch. She lights up the screen whenever she appears and watching her prove more than a match for Ray in the earlier scenes as she declines his advances, helping add tension that is lacking elsewhere.
Also in the cast is the very welcome, albeit brief, inclusion of Dee Wallace, who genre fans will know from her work in Joe Dante's The Howling, Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes and more recently Rob Zombie's take on Halloween. Here she plays the grieving mother of one of the two girls murdered at the film's start.
Sivertson's script makes nods towards the classics Psycho and Jaws without being close to either when it comes to storytelling or direction. What it has are some decent performances and a bravura finale, as well as a face to watch in Megan Henning - just don't expect to stay awake much during the film's mid section.