THE LOST is released in the UK 15th January 2021.
An aptly titled, atmospheric crime drama, THE LOST, is the second film from Indie writer/director Peter Stylianou. Inspired by the controversy surrounding the Madeline McGann disappearance, THE LOST, begins when a girl is seemingly snatched from her bedroom while her parents are hosting a birthday party downstairs.
Accomplished, ‘Terri Dwyer’ is cast perfectly as the hard edged, but driven Mother, Clare Truman, and Dad is played by David Partridge who gives a very strong, layered performance. The story is mainly set in and around the couple’s home, which gives the story a claustrophobic feel, as the plot flashes backwards and forwards in time to illustrate testimony from the various point of views of all the characters. This ‘spiders web’ structure really works, as the audience is spun from one story line to another, all plausible, and all mystifying. This strategy also makes the most of what was a tiny budget, and indeed, the film is a masterful example of just what can be achieved by a good production team. The photography, by Gary Rogers, helps too, by being economical and telling the story with great use of close ups and lens choices to increase the dramatic flow.
Peter Stylianou’s direction is clean and confident...
To a large extent the film works well, because Peter Stylianou’s direction is clean and confident and the actors have all been fully immersed and set in the harrowing world of child trafficking and abuse. The subject matter is handled sensitively, but rather than sat grimly in urban drama territory, THE LOST takes off into a more universal, international world of abuse and trafficking, as portrayed in films like, ‘Taken’, and as a result, has a brittle, high glamour surface which makes the film all the more shocking and horrifying. Sadly, there’s money to be made, and lots of it, which is why it persists. THE LOST also highlights how it is quite often a back ground of child hood trauma that leads to adults who perpetuate this terrible trade.
These layers are all woven well into THE LOST, and there is a raw talent which runs through the scrip...
These layers are all woven well into THE LOST, and there is a raw talent which runs through the script, which although rough around the edges is dramatically strong, and bodes well for future works. Taut thrillers are possibly the hardest to pull off, but THE LOST manages it. This is down to great characterisation and the sort of supportive direction that allows actors to really let go and take off. Shining examples of this in action are from ‘Rebecca Calienda,’ who really explodes as ‘Liz’ and pulls the audience in whenever she’s on screen. The other noteworthy performance is from Kris Johnson, who plays DI Holloway with great theatrical aplomb. With an increasing, maze like feel, worthy of an Agatha Christie house murder plot, THE LOST looks at all angles, examines all motivations and possibilities. It could’ve ended up a bit of a mess, but under Styliancou’s leadership, the story just about pulls through to a climax that is thought provoking and pleasingly dramatic. Nothing to really upset, but still a haunting reminder at how insidious and vile human trafficking is, and yet how far more haunting and tragic, are those who’ve been abused and who become abusers themselves.
Reviewer Jane Alexandra Foster is a director/screenwriter in her own right, who loves to support Indie Film and great stories whatever the budget or genre. IMDB