×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Lost

Far more unsettlingly savage than many horror thrillers, Chris Sivertson's "The Lost" is a potently pulpy and purposefully lurid drama that probably will prove too brutal (and brutalizing) for both mainstream auds and arthouse habitues. Even so, small-budget indie is undeniably fascinating and deadly serious from start to finish, with nary a trace of the wink-wink irony common to tongue-in-cheek crime stories by Tarantino wannabes.

With:
Ray Pye - Marc Senter Jennifer Fitch - Shay Astar Tim Bess - Alex Frost Sally Richmond - Megan Henning Katherine Wallace - Robin Sydney Lisa Steiner - Erin Brown Elise Hanlon - Ruby LaRocca Charlie Schilling - Michael Bowen Barbara Hanlon - Dee Wallace-Stone Ed Anderson - Ed Lauter

Far more unsettlingly savage than many horror thrillers, Chris Sivertson’s “The Lost” is a potently pulpy and purposefully lurid drama that probably will prove too brutal (and brutalizing) for both mainstream auds and arthouse habitues. Even so, small-budget indie is undeniably fascinating and deadly serious from start to finish, with nary a trace of the wink-wink irony common to tongue-in-cheek crime stories by Tarantino wannabes. Much like the Jack Ketchum novel on which it’s based, pic could attract a fervent cult, on homevid if not in theatrical runs.

Aptly disorienting prologue establishes small-town pretty boy Ray Pye (fearlessly played by Marc Senter) as a charismatic sociopath with a whim of iron and a taste for blood. While hanging out with girlfriend Jen (Shay Astar) and best buddy Tim (Alex Frost) at a local campground, he impulsively fatally shoots two young women who appear, in his eyes, to be lesbians. With minimal exertion of will, Ray forces his easily intimidated companions to help him cover up the thrill-killings.

Four years later, Ray deals drugs, maintains multiple relationships with pliable teenage girls, and hits on all the female employees at the motel owned by his clueless mom. (A nicely nasty touch: He wears crushed beer cans in his shoes to make himself look taller.)

A relentless police detective (Michael Bowen) and his retired partner (Ed Lauter) still consider Ray the No. 1 suspect in the unsolved murders, but Ray is too crafty to incriminate himself — until he falls for Katherine (Robin Sydney), a well-bred beauty who wants to take a walk on the wild side.

Sivertson methodically ratchets ups the suspense — and yet, at the same time, introduces a trace of romantic tragedy — as “The Lost” focuses on the ineffably perverse relationship between Ray and Katherine. The normally cocksure Ray is taken aback by her frankly carnal come-on, and eventually trusts her enough to share his darkest secrets.

Katherine, haunted by her own closeted skeletons, is intrigued — and, maybe, turned on — by Ray’s confession. But when she ultimately decides to end their affair, the break-up triggers an even more horrific outburst of bloody mayhem.

The final scenes of “The Lost” mercilessly test aud stamina, maintaining a sense of mounting dread while detailing a murder spree by the increasingly unhinged Ray. Overall impact is all the more powerful because some victims are the types of characters who normally survive in this sort of melodrama.

In a blunt-force, resolutely non-jokey fashion, Sivertson appears intent on putting some of the sting back into on-screen death. Trouble is, the very effectiveness of the pic’s devastating finale may drive some ticket buyers out of theaters, and make vid viewers hit fast-forward buttons.

(Ironically, however, pic may run the risk of an NC-17 rating more because of some totally uninhibited, sexually charged scenes.)

As Ray, a textbook example of unfettered Id, Senter remains genuinely terrifying long after his performance spins dizzyingly over the top. More importantly, he manages to convey something like charm, and even a touch of vulnerability, in the quiet moments that serve as counterpoint for his rants.

Standout supporting players include Sydney, Lauter and Megan Henning (as a plucky young woman who works undercover at the hotel owned by Ray’s mom). Lenser Zoran Popovic makes imaginative use of desaturated color and variegated film stocks to intensify key scenes.

The Lost

Production: A Silver Web Prods. production. Produced by Lucky McKee, Mike McKee, Shelli Merrill, Chris Sivertson. Executive producer, Koko Poovey. Directed, written by Chris Sivertson, based on the novel by Jack Ketchum.

Crew: Camera (FotoKem color), Zoran Popovic; editor, Poppy Gulch; music, Temistocles H. Rutili; production designer, Chris Davis; costume designer, Lisa Gaye Norcia; sound, Ron Eng; associate producers, Michael Bowen, Ketchum, Marc Senter; assistant director, Alisa Fredrix; casting, Dino Ladki. Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (Emerging Visions), Austin, Texas, March 14, 2006. Running time: 119 MIN.

With: Ray Pye - Marc Senter Jennifer Fitch - Shay Astar Tim Bess - Alex Frost Sally Richmond - Megan Henning Katherine Wallace - Robin Sydney Lisa Steiner - Erin Brown Elise Hanlon - Ruby LaRocca Charlie Schilling - Michael Bowen Barbara Hanlon - Dee Wallace-Stone Ed Anderson - Ed Lauter

More Film

  • Millie Bobby Brown on Her Feature

    Millie Bobby Brown Calls Her Film Debut in 'Godzilla' 'Kind of Unreal'

    Millie Bobby Brown is no stranger to stardom thanks to “Stranger Things,” but she still can’t believe she’s making her feature film debut in the monster reboot “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” “It’s kind of unreal,” Brown told Variety at the premiere. “I’m like, ‘What is happening right now?’ It’s so bizarre and unreal, and [...]

  • Dakota Johnson Tracee Ellis Ross

    Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross Co-Starring in Comedy 'Covers'

    Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross will co-star in “Covers,” a comedy set in the music scene in Hollywood. “Late Night” director Nisha Ganatra is helming from a screenplay by Flora Greeson. Focus Features is partnering with Working Title Films on the movie. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with Alexandra Loewy [...]

  • Sony Interactive Launches Film, TV Studio

    Sony Interactive Launches Film, TV Studio to Adapt Video Game Projects

    Sony Interactive recently launched PlayStation Productions, a studio tasked with adapting the company’s video game properties into films and television shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter. PlayStation Productions is headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by SIE chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden. It’s reportedly already working on its first slate of projects on the [...]

  • Breaking Glass Takes U.S. on Female

    Breaking Glass Takes U.S. on Mexican Female Empowerment Pic 'Tatoo of Revenge' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Philadelphia-based indie distributor Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American rights to Mexican director Julian Hernandez’s female empowerment thriller “Tattoo of Revenge” in a deal closed with Italy-based company The Open Reel at the Cannes film market. “Tatoo” is the latest feature by the prolific Hernandez who is known on the festival circuit for films [...]

  • Thierry Fremaux Cannes

    Thierry Fremaux Says 'Cannes Will Always Side With Artists' at Alain Delon's Tribute

    Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, delivered a heartfelt homage to Alain Delon at a ceremony on Sunday during which the French actor received the honorary Palme d’Or. Alluding to the controversy that Delon has triggered with his past declarations, Fremaux said the actor was entitled to have his own convictions [...]

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt's '7500' Sells to Amazon

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Thriller '7500' Sells to Amazon Studios

    Amazon Studios has acquired global rights to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s terrorist drama “7500.” The deal, announced Monday at the Cannes Film Festival, excludes Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Universum will distribute the film in Germany. In “7500,” Gordon-Levitt plays the co-pilot of a plane that has been hijacked by terrorists. The title references the code 7500, which [...]

  • Cannes: China's Rediance Boards Sales on

    Cannes: China's Rediance Picks Up Sales on 'Ways to Run' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chinese indie sales and production finance outfit Rediance has boarded sales on “Ways to Run,” a project in the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation La Residence section. The film picked up a special mention at the prize presentation. The road movie drama is being directed by Afghan-Dutch director Aboozar Amin, who previously made the documentary “Kabul: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content