Posted by: Brian Knowles
Editor’s Note: I’ve asked BrianK to explore the arid wasteland of Netflix’ Watch Instantly section once a week in search of lost treasures, the only important rule being his find cannot be a film anyone has ever told him anything about. These are his results.
Directed by Chris Sivertson, 2006
Written by Chris Sivertson from Jack Ketchum‘s novel
Make that two for two in terms of likable openings in films I have reviewed thus far for this series. THE LOST gets going energetically with a shot of the main character, Ray (Marc Senter), approaching an outhouse in the middle of woods, where he happens to find an attractive naked woman finishing up her business – all set to the tune of Crispian St. Peters’ absurdly catchy 1966 hit “The Pied Piper.” You had me at naked girl in outhouse and ‘60s pop.
It isn’t all crimson and clovers, however. Shortly after their meet, Ray coldly decides to kill the girl and her friend with the reluctant help of his delinquent associates, Jennifer (Shay Astar) and Tim (Alex Frost). When the story picks up again four years later, the case remains unsolved, Jennifer and Tim are attempting to deal with their guilt, and Ray is constantly trying to get laid. As you probably guessed, Ray has decidedly mixed results with women, and it is this quality that serves as the driving force for the remainder of the film.
Other than wearing copious amounts of eyeliner, Ray dresses just like a greaser. It is actually difficult to determine the story does not take place in the 1950s for the first several minutes (as you might imagine, the naked girl isn’t much help in pin-pointing a time period). In fact, other than a few stylistic flourishes (e.g. random shots in 8mm), THE LOST has that bright yet washed-out nostalgic feel of many actual mid-century throwbacks, such as another Ketchum adaptation, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (2007).