Parents' Guide to

Lost Souls

By M. Faust, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Teenage horror fans can do much better.

Movie R 2002 97 minutes
Lost Souls Poster Image

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Like The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, and The Omen all rolled into one, LOST SOULS covers a lot of familiar territory in a popular genre. Unlike the gruesome slasher and monster movies that dominate the field, it seeks to scare viewers by tapping into our religious upbringing, both personal and cultural. Like other relatively earnest movies about God and the Devil, this ones runs a double danger: Christian viewers may feel exploited or belittled, while others may feel it gives too much credence to religion and the struggle between good and evil. The filmmakers certainly aren't trying to argue that the threat of an antichrist is real, but they aren't going for cheap shocks or gross-outs either. In other words, the movie wants viewers to take it somewhat seriously.

The atmosphere is wonderfully spooky, wringing a real sense of dread out of Manhattan locations. But the premise eventually runs out of steam, getting sillier as it does. The finale is so anti-climactic that audiences are certain to be disappointed. As one seventeen-year-old horror buff noted, it almost looks like they ran out of money and just decided to end it. His girlfriend also didn't find the movie scary enough, though she felt Winona Ryder (the reason she wanted to see the movie) gave a better performance than in her earlier horror efforts, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Alien 3.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 4, 2002
  • On DVD or streaming: February 4, 2002
  • Cast: Ben Chaplin , John Hurt , Winona Ryder
  • Director: Janusz Kaminski
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: New Line
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 97 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: violence, terror, and some language
  • Last updated: October 13, 2023

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