Lost Souls

sleeping dogRATED: R

You’d think a movie about demonic possession would want to at least set you on edge, even a little bit. But in Lost Souls, there isn’t one thing there up to the task and that includes stars Winona Ryder and Ben Chaplin trying to cope with a messy, boring and lousy screenplay. Unfortunately that excellent actor John Hurt is missing for most of the story so there’s little he can do to save this hopeless cause.

Ryder stars as Maya Larkin, a believer of good and evil, a kind of exorcist’s apprentice, who teaches at a catholic school. She accompanies Hurt’s Father Lareaux to banish the demons of a asylumed math professor who killed his family. It doesn’t go well and Lareaux is left disabled. Meanwhile, Maya goes about unscrambling some of the weird one’s writings and she deciphers numerical code that translates into a prediction of who the coming Satan will be: none other than master criminologist and best selling author Peter Kelson (Chaplin). So, now it’s up to Maya to convince the poor man that something devilish is coming his way.

Even when the going gets seems to get tough for Kelson, there’s not a whole lot wringing of hands over his predicament. He seems to be as bored as we are. And it just gets dumber as it gets closer to the end. With all that dark eye makeup, Ryder looks as if she hasn’t slept in a week. Maybe she too was wondering how this film would fare at the box office. I think it was a bust.

Also features Philip Baker Hall as Father James and Alfre Woodard as the doctor of the psych ward.

Lotta says just pass on this one. There are far better tales to scare you out of your wits. This one just might put you to sleep.

Reviewed 3/30/01