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Lost Souls is a 2000 American horror film directed by Janusz Kamiński, in his directorial debut. The film stars Winona Ryder, Ben Chaplin, Elias Koteas, and John Hurt.

Lost Souls
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJanusz Kamiński
Produced byMeg Ryan
Nina R. Sadowsky
Screenplay byPierce Gardner
Story byBetsy Stahl
Pierce Gardner
Music byJan A. P. Kaczmarek
CinematographyMauro Fiore
Edited byAnne Goursaud
Andrew Mondshein (recut)
Avery Pix
Castle Rock Entertainment
Prufrock Pictures
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • October 13, 2000 (2000-10-13)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million[1]
Box office$31,355,910[1]



A small group of fervent Roman Catholics believe Satan intends to become man just as God did in the person of Jesus. Writings from a seemingly-possessed psychiatric patient lead them to Peter Kelson. The group suspect it is Kelson's body Satan has chosen to occupy. The youngest of the group, Maya Larkin, meets Peter to investigate further and try to convince him of embodied evil. Other signs come to Kelson as he and Maya take a journey full of strange occurrences, self-discovery and an ultimate showdown.



The film was shot in 1998 on location in Los Angeles and New York City in America. The film was initially set for release in October 1999. However, due to a flood of "end of the world" and supernatural horror movies such as End of Days and Stigmata scheduled for release around the same time, a decision was made to delay the film. The second release date, February 2000, was also cancelled due to a conflict with the very popular Scream franchise. A final release date of October 2000 was finally decided upon, which also happened to be exactly the same day as the re-release of The Exorcist.


The film opened at #3 at the North American box office making USD$7,954,766 in its opening weekend. Lost Souls ultimately grossed only $31.3 million worldwide, making it a Box office bomb.[1]

The film was given very negative reviews from critics, though the condemnation was somewhat tempered by praise for its photography and atmosphere. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a rating of 8% based on 91 reviews, with the website's consensus stating: "Though Kaminski's film is visually stylish, Lost Souls is just another derivative entry in the Apocalypse genre, with lackluster direction, unengaging characters, and no scares."[2] It is ranked at number 95 on their 100 worst-reviewed movies of the 2000s.[citation needed]

Elvis Mitchell in The New York Times wrote: "There are some particularly fine visual details; it's the central story that's lacking ... After what is supposed to be a harrowing moment, Kelson says, 'I was surprised but I was never frightened.' That about sums up Lost Souls."[3] Jonathan Rosenbaum in The Chicago Reader dismissed the film as "visually striking set pieces set loose in a void.[4] Steven Rea wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Despite its spooky, color-desaturated visuals, guffaws, not screams, are more in order.[5] Carla Meyer wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, "Even a badly executed horror movie can achieve cheesy greatness. This one, unfortunately, is too somber for that. It's artfully shot -- to be expected with Kaminski as director -- with everything bathed in green and golden light. The set designers should be commended for their fine choice in lamps -- from Tiffany to Deco, they're fabulous, even in the priests' quarters. But when the furniture stands out more than the story, the movie's a stinker."[6] Roger Ebert wrote in his review, "Lost Souls possesses the art and craft of a good movie, but not the story. For a thriller about demonic possession and the birth of the antichrist, it's curiously flat. All through the movie, I found myself thinking about how well it was photographed. Not a good sign."[7]

The critical review from Film4 wrote: "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."[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Lost Souls". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (2000-10-13). "Lost Souls". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  4. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Lost Souls". Chicago Reader.
  5. ^ "Archives -".
  6. ^ "FILM CLIPS / Opening today".
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Lost Souls Movie Review & Film Summary (2000) - Roger Ebert".
  8. ^ "LOST SOULS". Film4. 2000-10-13. Archived from the original on 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2010-06-20.

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