Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: LOST GIRLS (Netflix)

It’s only fitting that my last review for the time being (nothing scheduled to hit original film streaming wise for the next two weeks) is trying to persuade you to not watch this film. Especially when you will watch it anyway, because its one of the only things you haven’t seen. But let it be known, in my opinion, LOST GIRLS, a new movie that just premiered on Netflix this past week, is a massive disappointment. Clocking in at a measly 1 hr and 35 minutes (including credits), this really only feels like half a movie, 40-45 minutes lost somewhere to…God only knows what. And it is very frustrating because you will see that there is a more meticulous story in there somewhere. I mean, it is a true story about one woman’s determination to find her missing daughter, feared that she was killed by The Long Island Serial Killer. Serial killer movies, especially the ones based off real life are fascinating because they usually go into the mind of the killer to try and figure out why the fuck he/she was doing what they were doing. This film, just to forewarn you, doesn’t show the serial killer, mainly because, he still hasn’t been caught to this day, so we don’t have any sense of his actions or of where he was exactly when. So it relies on this woman’s story fed up with the police investigation, which she says is lazy, and tries to find her daughter (whether it be body or alive) on her own. One of the other main problems with the movie is, it is only one sided.

There are constant scenes of Amy Ryan (who plays this real life mother named Mari Gilbert) talking about how the police are ineffectively doing their jobs and completely fucking up the investigation. However, we don’t ever see the other side really. I mean, we do see Gabriel Bryne’s almost retired detective doing some work (and it didn’t seem to me to be ineffective), but she just keeps spouting off what the police are doing wrong, but we never see it. We as an audience are just supposed to take her work for it, and that be that. That’s why I think it is only half a movie. If the filmmakers really agreed with how the police fucked up the investigation leading to an arrest, THEY NEED TO SHOW IT ON FILM. That is a perfect example of what could’ve been in those (not confirmed, only saying what it feels like to me) 40 minutes that could’ve added a lot of (no pun intended) meat to the bones of this story. The story also jumps in time erratically (we are told through dialogue it is one year later yet everything else that happens still feels like it was yesterday), which leads to the audience asking questions like, “what the fuck is happening?” Albeit, those questions are better answered than say the other newer film on Netflix (and worst film of the year for me so far) titled The Last Thing He Wanted, but still, if you are going to have leaps in time or actions, they all need to be transitioned better.

Her investigation leads to her daughter’s (this is early on, so not really a spoiler) life as a sex worker (the Long Island Serial Killer is known to be targeting women sex workers), and so there are a couple of sex workers that knew her daughter and they sit around and have like a therapy session type thing in some scenes, and all of that felt hugely out of place for me. I can see why those scenes were in there, as in they show that even though they are sex workers, they are human beings and a community in themselves worried about their own, but the scenes feel randomly inserted. This goes back to the editing and pacing problem I just talked about. Those scenes in the movie needed to feel more natural, and it feeling like only half a film, it takes a jarring toll on the rest of the story. The acting is one of the only saving graces of the film, as Amy Ryan and one of her daughters still alive, played by JoJo Rabbit’s Thomasen McKenzie, are excellent here. There are the only two that really got me through the film. Now let’s talk about the ending without getting into spoilers. I think I can do it. So the film ends where it should, but then there is a epilogue of text, and that epilogue of text is so shocking (I didn’t do any research about the real life stuff beforehand) that I think it shouldn’t have been text, but in the film. It would’ve made for a shocking yet depressing ending to be sure, as it really did happen, and again, that’s part of what feels like it is missing from the movie. Had the text only epilogue been a harrowing scene in the movie…I could’ve maybe seen me giving it a mild recommendation.

So yeah, I’m basically giving this movie a negative review because it felt like half a movie. That’s it. The cinematography is good, it feels gritty and dark the entire way through. Already said the acting was top notch. And the fact that there is a great, great story in there just adds on to the massive disappointment of what could’ve been. I don’t know, if any of this sounds interesting to you, maybe you should have a watch because you will probably like it more than me. Especially in these dark COVID-19 times where you are going to be relying on watching a bunch of shit to keep you sane through quarantine. And not just watching any bunch of shit, but new shit you haven’t seen before. I was even debating on doing this review but I figure, since it’s my last one for a couple of weeks, might as well, even if its negative. Because while I might review something, it’s still your choice whether or not to watch it, which is fine (even though I might give some of you shit for watching other, worse, films). And you might not even know this film even exists without this review here. Which, if you watch it, could help get it exposure to help out that community, what with all their productions being shut down and all due to this cock sucking virus. So while I say nay on Lost Girls, you could actually find this thing and say yay.

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