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:: Lost Things

Four teenagers head to an isolated beach on an end of year trip, for some sun, some surf and (the boys hope) some sex. Gary, Tracey, Brad and Emily (Ford, Vaughan, Garber and Kripac) have just finished school and are all a little lost, still just trying to find themselves.

An older man, calling himself Zippo (Steve Le Marquand), warns them to leave this beach. He threatens them and leers at the young girls, but they refuse to leave. Before long, the kids realise there is something strange and sinister about this place, and in the end all they find is horror and death.

This is the first feature film for stand-up comic turned director, Martin Murphy and the first film for Charlie Garber and Alex Vaughan (Brad and Tracey). The inexperienced youngsters are guilty of some fairly stilted acting early on, but they settle into their roles as the film progresses. All the performances are very natural, intended to portray real Aussie teens as opposed to Hollywood-perfect people. Steve Le Marquand (Two Hands) gives another great showing, as menacing as you could desire.

Lost things does feel like a low-budget horror flick – it was shot in eleven days for less than $1 million Australian – but it makes no apologies for the fact. This creates an atmosphere similar to The Blair Witch Project and allows identification with the characters, which makes the audience feel “that could be me”.

The story moves quite slowly in the first half of the film, dwelling on the relationships between the characters and not very successfully building suspense. The disjointed plot is also frustrating for much of the film.

Lost Things redeems itself when the horror takes over and a satisfying ending makes it worthwhile. Instead of a brainless slasher, this film reveals itself as a thought-provoking horror, which delights in the awful fate of its characters.