Directed by Chris Sivertson
at Landmark Sunshine Cinema
Before Chris Sivertson guided Lindsay Lohan through the unintentionally hilarious highlight of her career in I Know Who Killed Me, he had already developed a proficient style of visceral filmmaking in his preceding directorial effort, The Lost. Viewing this earlier independent work gives context to the big-screen joke that followed it: Say what you want about the amazingly miscalculated sequences that turn I Know Who Killed Me into an epic highlight reel of craptastic abuse, but there was a definite skill to the splendiferous sleaze. There’s even more of it in The Lost, which screens February 13 at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in anticipation of a March DVD release.
Based on horror scribe Jack Ketchum’s fictionalization of a 1965 murder case, the movie opens with egotistical maniac Ray (Marc Senter) killing two defenseless women in the woods outside New Jersey. Four years later, he’s still a self-centered psychopath and the sole suspect in an investigation that dogged detective Charlie (Michael Bowen) won’t let die. As Ray’s self-imposed godliness starts to crumble, the worst ingredients of his monstrous personality bubble to the surface.
Sivertson brings the story to life with a dense visual rhythm, relying on music-driven montages and enough lens flares for a year’s supply of Weird Al Yankovic concerts, but the forced aesthetic occasionally suits such unabashedly exploitative material. Like I Know Who Killed Me, stilted writing abounds, but it’s still immensely entertaining, with an unflaggingly intense pop sensibility. Sivertson has definite skill—he should direct better screenplays—and his penchant for memorable imagery is unmatched in the contemporary horror genre. The Lost builds to a twisted ending, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been hinted at all along: Imagine Rob Zombie directing a punk rock version of Targets and you’ve got some idea of the whacked-out finale. To borrow a line from I Know Who Killed Me that ought to become iconic, everyone gets cut.