LOST CHILD **** U.S.A. 2018 Dir: Ramaa Mosley 96 mins
When troubled young soldier Fern (Leven Rambin) returns to her home town to try and find her estranged brother in a bid to make amends for their traumatic childhood she comes across a young boy living in the woods. She takes him in but soon starts to believe in the superstition and rumours warning of demons in the woods taking on the form of lost children so they can feed on their human hosts over the course of years. Is this boy a demon in disguise or is his true story yet to be discovered?
To be completely honest with you when I first started watching this I had huge doubts about it. For the first 30 minutes or so it doesn’t play out all that well, it’s not awful but it’s awkward and a little boring but if you stick with it, it does pick up nicely as it progresses. The interaction between Fern and the boy, named Cecil (Landon Edwards) gets really quite intense and very compelling. The back drop of the Ozark national forest is imposing and the set pieces of wooden shacks and living rough shrouds the story with a sense of poverty and desperation. The overall crux of the story remains always slightly on the cusp of the supernatural but there could be several other explanations to the happenings. Aside from the awkward start and a few misplaced tantrums the acting is pretty good with a great performance from Landon Edwards, the youngest member of the cast. Rambin was a good female lead but I thought her character rather confused at times. Her brother, Billy (Taylor John Smith) is a dead beat repeat offender who slowly shows more of his personality as the story progresses and Mike (Jim Parrack) is the social worker and, in a round about way, the love interest. This plays out very much as a straightforward thriller with a very vague crossover into horror but it is an enjoyable watch. Director and co writer Ramaa Mosley has created an interesting movie. I believe this was previously released under the name TATTERDEMALION last year. Changing the name and cutting down the runtime is definitely a better way to market this movie, I believe it’s previous title made it sound like it has more to do with folklore and witchcraft then it actually does and would not have been met with a positive response because of this. It has a bit of folklore to it but not really much, the soundtrack however does have some great folk songs incorporated into it. In the whole this is a decent movie that will leave viewers pleasantly surprised.
Review by Sarah Budd