|release date||March 18 2008|
|writer||Chris Sivertson, Jack Ketchum|
|starring||Marc Senter, Shay Astar, Alex Frost, Megan Henning, Robin Sydney, Erin Brown, Ruby La Rocca, Eddie Steeples, Dee Wallace-Stone, Michael Bowen, Ed Lauter|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
‘The Lost’… your modern day ‘Last House on the Left’
In this day and age it’s becoming more and more impossible to make a realistic horror film “acceptable,” especially when it brings Wes Craven’s uncompromising ‘Last House on the Left’ to mind. David DeFalco’s 2005 horror film ‘Chaos’ was burned at the stake by critics for filming a nearly shot-for-shot remake of Craven’s film, claiming it’s only purpose was to disgust and shock audiences with no substance. So the question remains, what substance is needed for a film to become acceptable with its raw nature? Are there rules? Do there have to be morals? Chris Sivertson’s ‘The Lost’ fits right into this genre of horror and walks a fine line between justifiable and, well, just plain wrong… but in the end this film is one of the best indie films I’ve seen all year.
Based on the novel by Jack Ketchum, Ray (Marc Senter), Tim (Alex Frost), and Jennifer (Shay Astar) were just three teenage friends hanging out in the campgrounds, drinking. But Tim and Jennifer didn’t know what their friend Ray had in mind, but when they saw what he did to the two girls at the neighboring campsite–they knew he was dead serious. It’s now four years later and Ray has not been charged with the murders, there’s one cop (Michael Bowen) determined to make him pay, but Ray figures he’s in the clear. Tim and Jennifer think the worst is behind them, that the horrors are all in the past. They’re wrong. The worst is still to come and Ray is a time bomb waiting to explode.
Produced by Lucky (May, The Woods) McKee, his very essence bleeds into Sivertson’s film. The screenplay, also written by Sivertson, appears to have been overseen (or inspired by?) by Lucky. The way the story takes form is the main reason why this movie is so good. If horror were a religion (maybe it is?) one of the ten commandments would explain how important character development is. The movie opens strong and gets the viewer involved, but then for the next hour and a half we are treated to heavy dialogue and entertaining character situations. The characters are strengthened not only by the situations they are in but also by the little things that they do. We are shown how insecure Ray truly is as he sticks crushed cans in his boots to appear taller, and because of that he walks funny. We are also brought into the victim’s lives so when the time of judgment comes along we as a viewer are even begging for their lives. To continue my earlier thoughts, the film is structured very similar to McKee’s ‘May,’ which is great news if you’re as big of a fan as I am.
What’s extremely interesting about the film is how it looks, keeping it timeless (at least until there are flying cars). You couldn’t place a year on the film if you tried. Ray dressed like he’s from the ‘50s/’60s, there are no cell phones or computers and the kids like to eat at a old-school drive-in type restaurant. The film carries a dark, yet colorful, atmosphere along with a quasi-‘70s grain. In short, ‘The Lost’ gorgeous.
And it just gets better…
The original score by Tim Rutili is genius and the single best score in an indie film since Ti West’s ‘The Roost’ last year. The music ranges from eerie, to rock, to metal to concentrated classic horror. Rutili’s range is so wide that anyone watching this film would think there were various people involved.
Tying everything together is an outstanding performance by most of the cast. There were a few times I wondered if Marc Senter (Ray) was over performing, but I think in the end his insanity was well displayed throughout. And whether or not it was inspired by Sivertson, the female victims in this film brought an extremely high level of realism to their fear. The performances were all dense and believable, which also made this film more realistic.
In the end ‘The Lost’ is a vicious film that is more of a drama than a horror film, but the idea that there are people like Ray in this world is terrifying on its own. Just how powerful is our system? How do people like Ray survive the system and walk these streets? Sivertson should be proud of himself, and Lucky McKee should pat himself on the back for taking a chance on such a promising young filmmaker. I hope Hollywood takes the boot out of their ass and give people like McKee and Sivertson the love they deserve. ‘The Lost’ will definitely make some waves—and good or bad, Sivertson shows that he’s a new horror force to reckon with.