Four teenagers Emily (Lenka Kripac), Gary (Leon Ford), Brad (Charlie Garber) and Tracey (Alex Vaughan) set off for a surfing weekend north of Sydney. The boys are hoping to get lucky with their newish girlfriends, drink some beer and have some fun. But when they arrive at the deserted beach, Emily quickly begins to sense that there's something strange about the place...and soon they all discover that they are not alone. There's Zippo (Steve Le Marquand) for a start, and perhaps someone or some thing else. And pretty soon, there is fear and mayhem on the empty beach.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This return to basics for the psychological horror genre is fresh and unpredictable, with top performances and an intelligent script. Simply made on a low budget, the film proves that it's the range of your imagination and the quality of your story telling not the size of your budget that ultimately matters. Four teenagers set off for a weekend of surf n'sun (and maybe a bit of virginal sex, if the boys have their way). But where the film deviates immediately from the conveyor belt fare that's been churned out in this genre, is in its characterisations. Each of the characters is uniquely identifiable, and not as a stereotype.
This originality is followed through in the layers of their conversations, which touch on real issues that exercise teenagers facing an adult world, adult feelings and adult relationships. Our attention is held through a combination of humour and drama as the adventure begins to fracture - and the mystery of what's happening deepens.
The filmmakers search for a fresh group of young actors has proved highly successful; each of the teenagers delivers a terrific characterisation. There are no glib character cardboards here, but flesh and blood kids with genuine issues.
The introduction of a mysterious element that provides the source of fear is carefully orchestrated to be both accessible and yet just out of our sight. Is death the ultimate horror - or is there something in our destiny ...?
Martin Murphy's direction, first on show with his acclaimed AFTRS graduation suspense/thriller short, Nightride (1996), is assured and keeps us involved, off balance and entertained. The film is aided by a fine, restrained score from Carlo Giacco, and the ideas that drive Stephen Sewell's clever script are worthy of our investment in time and energy.
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MARTIN MURPHY INTERVIEW
LOST THINGS (M)
CAST: Lenka Kripac, Charlie Garber, Leon Ford, Alex Vaughan, Steve Le Marquand
PRODUCER: Ian Iveson
DIRECTOR: Martin Murphy
SCRIPT: Stephen Sewell
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Justine Kerrigan
EDITOR: Benita Carey/Karen Johnson
MUSIC: Carlo Giacco
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Karla Irizar
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: ISM Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 11, 2004