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Lost River (2014)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Lost River (2014) Billy (Christina Hendricks) is a single mother with two sons. One is two-years-old and the other, Bones (Iain De Caestecker) of AGENTS OF SHIELD), is a young adult. Their crumbling house is going to be bulldozed if they don't pay the three months they owe so she takes a job at a really weird "Gran Guignol" club where the performers, via makeup effects, act out murders and horrible mutilations to themselves. She gets this job through the bank manager, Dave (Ben Mendelsohn of Netflix's BLOODLINES). Meanwhile, Bones is trying to make money by stripping old buildings of their copper wire. This doesn't sit well with the local psychotic gang leader, Bully (Matt Smith), who has this horrible tendency to cut off peoples' lips with scissors. We find out that, years before, a dam was built and that it flooded many of the surrounding towns, as evidenced by the tops of street lights sticking out of the water. Bone's neighbor, Rat (Saoirse Ronan of THE HOST) tells him that there's a curse on the area and that the only way to lift it--and save them all--is to bring up a piece of the town from the waters below. And Bones gets it in his head to do just that--and has his eye on a dinosaur head from a dinosaur park tourist attraction.

LOST RIVER conveys a deep sense of dread, along the lines of THE REFLECTING SKIN. There's a feeling that something terrible is going to happen to the characters at any moment. It's a very unpleasant, but extremely effective and memorable, movie. Also, it has a great cast, which also includes Eva Mendes and Barbara Steele (!). The run-down Detroit locations are as an important part of the film as the eclectic collection of talent. Highly recommended--but don't expect a good time. Written & Directed by Ryan Gosling.

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