What with End Of Days, and more recently Bedazzled and Little Nicky, the Devil has been getting his share of screen time of late. The fact that his satanic majesty has fared well in none of them is underlined by the latest addition to this unfortunately burgeoning sub-genre.
Lost Souls is a film that when it's not boring you, is eliciting uncalled-for guffaws. Ryder is Maya, the teacher who cracks a numerical code that she spies among a recently-exorcised mental patient's notes. They hint that author Peter Kelson (Chaplin) will emerge as the Antichrist on his 33rd birthday. "But it's my birthday tomorrow!" wails Chaplin. Cue much unintentional hilarity.
Lost Souls marks the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg's regular (and Oscar-winning) cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski. And certainly, the film's beautiful-but-eerie wash-out tint (in fact captured by Kaminski's Schindler's List colleague Mauro Fiore) belies the fact that a cinematographer is at the helm. But that's all there is to recommend. With both a gothic eye-shadow sporting Ryder and a bland-as-you-like Chaplin looking bewildered, the film is not something they'd like to be reminded of. Wasting the talents of Hurt, Hall and Koteas, Kaminski concentrates all his efforts on creating an atmosphere to cloud over Pierce Gardner's paper-thin script. Concluding with an ending reminiscent of both The Game and Jacob's Ladder (though delivered with the panache of neither), Lost Souls is not worth seeking out.