lost souls(2000)
director: janusz kaminsky
winona ryder, ben chaplin, john hurt

. If a movie like Lost Souls is to be believed, Roman Catholic priests have their hands full battling the legions of Satan. Between the exorcisms and the arrival of the antichrist, itís a miracle they have time for bake sales or couplesí retreats.

A renegade group of believers, including John Hurt, Winona Ryder and Elias Koteas, have to track down the antichrist before he manifests himself in the body of an unsuspecting crime writer, played by Ben Chaplin. Itís all here -- the powerful conspiracy of satanists, the cryptic omens, the pentagram, the agonized, doubting priest, howling demonic possessions and confrontations in gloomy churches. Thanks to films like this, itís no wonder that Protestant fundamentalists regard Catholics as idol-worshipping pagans. 

Itís a pretty humourless ride, as well, despite the (probably unintentional) appearance of the mark of the beast on the dashboard clock of a Range Rover.

Winona Ryder plays a tormented former victim of demonic possession with the same, constant expression of haunted unease that has typified her performances since her plausibility as an ingenue became overtaxed. The director, Janusz Kaminsky, is known for his cinematography on Steven Spielbergís Schindlerís List and Saving Private Ryan, and it shows, from the cold, clotted colours, constant overcast, omnipresent smoke, and camerawork that drags across cluttered tables and pokes into actorís eyeballs.