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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 62:20)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
    English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • 10 Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Animated menus

Lost Souls

New Line/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 94 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Winona Ryder plays Maya Larkin, a morose young woman who has previously been possessed by a daemon. Maya teaches at a Catholic school, but because of her close links with the occult serves in other exorcisms. After a failed exorcism that leaves her mentor (John Hurt) in a coma, Maya becomes interested in the possessed subject and his wild scribblings. Maya finds the key to this unintelligible gibberish and discovers that it relates to famous criminologist Peter Kelson (Ben Chaplin). From her research Maya believes that Kelson was born the Anti-Christ, the living carnation of Satan on earth. On his 33rd birthday he is set to become the risen devil, created to wreak havoc upon all the earth. Maya and Kelson are set upon stopping this event from happening, but they didnít figure on all the opposition they would have to stand up to. Maya and Kelson have to run for their lives and face the ultimate battle with evil in a stunning, yet almost anti-climactic conclusion.

"They've had their 2000 years... Now it's our turn."

Lost Souls is really a rather poorly written, but well directed film. Although it is enjoyable to watch, there is no real climax to get excited about, and what climax there is ends before you even realise it had started. Winona Ryder plays her sombre role brilliantly, unlike her co-star Ben Chaplin who should consider re-enrolling in acting classes. His entire persona is that of a person who is emotionally inept. He accepts his fate with little surprise, and doesnít even seem to want to stop it all that much.

The story line is too cliched, and isnít even fleshed out enough to provide a full story. Running for only 94 minutes, the film never really has an opportunity to extend itself into one of more substance. Instead it is the style of director Jannaz Kamiaki that carries this film over the line, which is a shame considering the potential of this film. Overall it is impressive cinematically while still being disappointing theatrically.

  Video
Contract

Lost Souls is presented with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is of course widescreen enhanced. The detail on this film is superb, after seeing endless DVDs I can still be amazed at the sheer clarity of this format. Individual hairs, facial imperfections, the finest details all come up looking amazing and sharp.

The video quality on this film is almost unique. Grain is constant right through the movie, but considering this film was directed by the man who did the cinematography for Schindlerís List and Saving Private Ryan we know this is deliberate.

The detail as a whole is excellent, excluding the above mentioned deliberate grain, which may get on the nerves at first, but after a while you adjust to it. Shadow detail is fine, film artefacts are very minor, and there do not appear to be any aliasing problems. The colours are again deliberately dark and drab to suit the mood of the film, but when required they appear bright and vibrant.

The RSDL transfer is also inserted perfectly into the film, only pausing for a second between a change in scenes. This dark scene allows an almost perfect place to put a layer change. Roadshow have yet again excelled themselves with this transfer.

  Audio
Contract

We have a huge selection of four soundtracks on this disc, English DTS 5.1 (768Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and an English Audio Commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). This is what we should see more of, if there is spare space on a disc, throw in a DTS soundtrack.

The soundtrack on Lost Souls is an eerie mix of sounds that is set to immerse you into the spine chilling occurrences of this film, or at least that is its aim. The soundtrack is clean and without fault, the dialogue is clear, the surrounds get a good work out, and the subwoofer is put to good use. The DTS soundtrack, at a whopping 768KB/s, is superb, it is amazing all the little things you can pick up when you crank up your amplifier. Considering the little it had to work with, the soundtracks on this disc have come up sounding great, even the Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks are a pleasure to listen to.

  Extras
Contract

Considering this movie didnít make a huge splash at the cinemas it's good to see that we can still have a standard edition DVD with a good selection of some quality extra features. We have an audio commentary with director Janusz Kaminski and cinematographer Mauro Fiori. This is an interesting and insightful look into the creation of the film. Although it does tend to run on the dull side at times, this audio commentary is still well worth listening to if you enjoyed the film.

Also included is a set of ten deleted scenes that are separated into individual chapters. For each deleted scene you can choose between the normal soundtrack or an audio commentary. This is how all deleted scenes should be presented. The audio commentaries clearly explain how each scene was supposed to have fitted into the movie, and why it was cut. A very nice addition.

We also have your typical and dull cast and crew filmographies and a theatrical trailer. These are pretty run of the mill, but are obligatory inclusions for modern DVDs. To close we have possibly the highlight of all the special features, a temporary tattoo. What more could you want than the ability to stick the letters XES (apparently the Greek letters for 666, or so they say in the film) on your arm? Obviously this is nothing more than a sales gimmick, but itís an interesting one all the same.

Overall this is a tidy set of extra features and is again an example of quality instead of quantity.

  Overall  
Contract

Lost Souls is a great example of style instead of substance. Despite having the potential to be a great step forward in terms of religious horror movies, it instead decides to take a less than original path, that although interesting to watch, does not do much in terms of bettering the already tired genre. Overall this film is blessed with a great transfer and a nice set of features, which does better itself as an acceptable addition to anyoneís collection. If you like a good, but unoriginal, religious horror movie then Lost Souls is a great choice. If you're looking for something with a little more substance though, you may just have to wait a little longer.


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      And I quote...
    "A stunning and stylish movie, a fantastic performance by Winona Ryder, a great directing debut for Jannaz Kamiaki, and a brilliant transfer by Village Roadshow. Lost Souls is cliched religious horror at its mediocre best."
    - Nathan Clark
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-636
    • Speakers:
          Pioneer
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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