Lost Things (2003)

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Released 6-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Director
Short Film-Night Ride
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Accent Trailers (8)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 80:11
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Martin Murphy
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Accent Film Entertainment
Starring Stephen Sewell
Leon Ford
Charlie Garber
Lenka Kripac
Steve Le Marquand
Alex Vaughan
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Carlo Giacco


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

   "You don't remember me, do you? You will."  Zippo

     Director Martin Murphy hails from a background in stand-up comedy, so it's of particular interest that Lost Things, his first feature film, is a compelling, low budget film of the horror/thriller genre. Screen and playwriter Stephen Sewell, who adapted the brilliant and chilling screenplay for The Boys, has created in Lost Things an original twist to a tried and true horror formula. Lost Things takes place on a secluded beach, which would normally be portrayed as a place of tranquil beauty, but in this movie this setting is transformed into one of dire menace and foreboding.

   As far as teenagers Garry (Leon Ford) and Brad (Charlie Garber) were concerned, their weekend away with Emily (Lenka Kripac) and Tracy (Alex Vaughan) was to be filled with sun, surf and sex. Little do they realise that the girls don't quite share the same plans as them.

   Garry's Kombi van, loaded with the essentials, arrives at the remote and secluded surf beach. There is something about the location that has the group slightly spooked from the outset, although they can't exactly pinpoint why.

   Before setting up a camp site, they all head down to the water. The boys plan to go for a surf, while the girls soak up some sun and discuss the matters at hand. Although the girls have no plans of intimacy with the boys, they both enjoy teasing them with a little topless sunbathing.

   Their solitude is broken by the sudden and ominous appearance of a beachcomber, Zippo (Steve Le Marquand), who informs them that three young people were murdered in the area some time ago and they should leave immediately. Emily displays a flirting interest in Zippo, much to Brad's disgust, and it becomes apparent to the audience that the two may actually know each other.

   Strange flashes of déjà vu begin to haunt members of the group, as Zippo's appearances become even more menacing. It isn't long before the truth of these flashes begins to fall into place and the true horror of their situation emerges.

   With her first feature film, cinematographer Justine Kerrigan transforms a sunny beach location, so regarded as an icon of Australian culture, into a haunting place of fear and doom. Her use of the camera is quite superb in framing the landscape and is one of the critical areas in the film that succeeds so well.

   The editing by Benita Carey and Karen Johnson is sharp and precise, especially the rapid déjà vu flashes, which combined with some excellent sound design, really have an impact on the viewer.

   The performances from the five main players are all very good, considering the very tight schedule they filmed under, and although I found some of the dialogue a little corny at times, there is more than enough in the plot (and indeed the landscape) to engross and challenge an audience.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The video transfer of the film is very good.

   The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

   The transfer is always clear, with a reasonable degree of sharpness. Some scenes displayed a very slight softness, which actually benefited the film extremely well. Blacks were clean and bold and showed no signs of low level noise. Many night scenes were shot using the day for night technique, with the film stock being graded down to give the appearance of darkness. I'm not a big fan of this process, however, budget and time constraints were against night filming. Shadows in these scenes did hold an excellent amount of detail in the transfer.

    The colours used in the film are suitably quite soft, with the only vibrant colour being the green vegetation on the sand dunes. This gives a nice contrast to the haunting beach landscape, without losing any atmosphere. Colours overall are rendered very nicely - skin tones do appear somewhat pale at times, however, many scenes were filmed in quite cool conditions.

   There were no MPEG artefacts present on the disc. I found no obvious film-to-video artefacts and film artefacts were not an issue.

   Unfortunately, there are no subtitles available on this DVD.

   This is a single sided, dual layered disc. The layer change occurs at 60:50 and is quite noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

   The audio transfer of the film is excellent.

   There are three audio tracks available on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s) and an English audio commentary track, which is also Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s). All three tracks are impressive.

   The dialogue quality and audio sync presented no problems. Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout. Audio sync appeared to be spot on.

   The music score by Carlo Giacco is crucial in achieving the level of atmosphere this film needed to be truly effective. The wonderful opening music, with beats of deep bass, puts the audience on notice that this will not be an entirely comfortable viewing experience.

   Surround usage is perfectly measured. The surrounds were used nicely to set the mood of the film, such as waves crashing on the deserted beach at 14:32. Also impressive is the music spread over the channels and the use of subtle ambient sound. There are some outstanding directional effects that will jolt an unprepared audience, such as at 54:06.

   The subwoofer was highly active throughout the film. If not in use to highlight bass in the excellent music score, it was adding some kick to the overall sound design.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

   The selection of extras on this DVD should please fans of the film.

   The menus for Lost Things are suitably atmospheric. They each contain very minor animation and are 16x9 enhanced. Starting at the main menu, the screen changes to the next menu screen about every thirty seconds. This also changes the eerie music, so the musical flow seems more continuous. Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s) surround encoded audio.

Audio Commentary - Martin Murphy (Director) and Ian Iveson (Producer

   An excellent, comprehensive commentary from Martin Murphy and Ian Iveson. The chat is quite casual and humorous, which makes for comfortable listening and it contains very few pauses. Because the film was shot with a small cast and crew, the commentary is loaded with anecdotes and some terrific behind-the-scenes information. Well worth listening to if you would like to get more insight into the film.

Short Film - Nightride (10:57)

   This is a very good 1997 short film directed by Martin Murphy and featuring many crew members also credited on Lost Things .A young man travelling on a bus at night tunes himself out with music from a walkman. He soon discovers to his horror that one of the few passengers on the bus is killing everyone present. When the only two people left are himself and the killer, will the police know who did the killing? Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s) surround encoded audio.

Theatrical Trailer (1:26)

    The trailer for Lost Things is suitably eerie, without giving away too much plot detail. Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s) audio.

Interviews - Cast and Crew (10:36)

   Interviews with a huge section of the cast and crew - thirteen to be exact. Unfortunately though, it's a little too short to be really comprehensive. Still, it's worth a look. Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s) audio.

Eight Accent Trailers 

    All eight trailers are presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    At the time of this review, there is no R1 version available of Lost Things.

Summary

      Lost Things is an intense and haunting film experience that easily transcends all the budget limitations placed before it.

     The video and audio transfers are very good.

     The presented extras should keep fans happy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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