Jack Ketchum's The Lost Review
Written by: Meh
I have been doing very well this week with getting films that impress me. More often then not I sit down and watch 4 or 5 movies in a row to review them and only end up enjoying half of them at best. This weekend I have liked just about every movie I watched. Thats not to shabby. The latest film I just watched was Jack Ketchum's The Lost. Jack Ketchum wrote The Girl Next Door which is one of my all time favorite films and so I realy was not surprised when his latest book turned movie turned out to be excellent as well. Not to get off topic but if you love true crime thrillers that are VERY dark you need to checkout the Girl Next Door. It was my pick for best film of 2007! Anyrate back on topic for The Lost lets start with what the film is about, taken from Jack Ketchum's website, rather then the synopsis.
It's 1969, and the Vietnam War is raging. A rough time for most kids. You either work like hell to stay in school or hightail it to Canada or else Uncle Sam comes knocking at your door and the next thing you know you're slogging through the rice paddies and trying not to think about all those body bags shipping back to the World every day. Not so for Ray and Tim. They've slipped through the cracks. They're neither college kids nor grunts. They're undraftable.
But Ray and Tim have their own problems. Murder, for one. A murder Ray committed four years ago because he felt like it. A murder to which Tim, along with Ray's sometime-girlfriend Jennifer, are accomplices. A murder which -- for at least one world-weary cop -- simply won't go away. He knows Ray did it but can't prove it. Now, on the verge of quitting his job, with nothing much to lose, he decides to have one last shot at goading Ray into blowing his arrogant cool, into doing something really stupid. Which Ray's already doing, just by being who he is. Things are converging. Something's going to crack. Something's going to break loose into a world of pain.
The film has a slightly different vibe then The Girl Next Door in that this film has a very dark and brooding almost drug induced feel to it at parts. When I first started watching it I wasnt sure if I would enjoy it. It had a 'art film' look adn feel to it. However within 10minutes and 2 gruesome killings and a lengthy dialogue or two I discovered this film is far from an art film. It is intense, graphic and one of the most well put together character stories I have seen in awhile.
The Lost is dark, its very quirky and has some scenes where you dont know whether you should laugh or not. For the second time in a row you have a movie adapatation of a Ketchum book that visually is impressive and is carried by a cast of unknowns who deliver their roles so well you find yourself pulled into their lives as if you know them. It has an intensity about if, as you can feel that further doom is inevitable for the characters from start to finish.
The film is shot with a very visceral style that has a very distinct look to it and as you watch the film the style changes as the mental state of Ray changes. When he is calm and happy, you can literally feel it because of the style of the filming. When he goes into an insane rage you can feel it not just because of the intensity in the acting but the change in the look and shooting of the film.
This film is unique in that it will appeal to a wide variety of film fans. It is gritty, it is VERY well written and the character acting is top notch. The thing that makes the two films that I have seen based on Jack's work is the writing. I think even with actors with 0 experience the films would shine because of the absolutely intense writing. It is no wonder that Stephen King loves Jack's works. His characters are so well developed and believable that on screen you believe what is happening. You dont feel any detachment from the story. Every aspect of the characters feels real no matter how unlikely the events are.
Unlike other thrillers, Jack ketchums The Lost is very well written but it isnt afraid to also be very sexual, very graphic and intensely gruesome. The film has scenes that are so intense that it reminds me of JAWS. There is a scene in the movie where you see nothing but it is so intense you want to look away regardless. One scene in particular is so disturbing and yet it shows nothing. The film also doesnt just rely on the jaws factor and mixes this with some brutal and believable murders that just explode on the screen.
Trust me if your a gore hound who likes the JAWS factor where you get to visualize the atrocity as much as you get to see it, this movie delivers and lets your mind go wild. Overall Jack Ketchum is a fantastic writer and this movie I feel delivers great justice to his films and is a must see for thrill-killer film junkies and anyone who can appreciate an intense, and at times graphic thriller that moves in a disturbing fashion from first kill to final outcome.