‘Long Lost’ Theatrical Review
A bit weird. Weird acting. Weird set-up. Weird dialogue. Weird chemistry. Weird sexy. Weird spooky. Weird themes. Weird clothes. Weird journey. But I don’t think I will hold any of that against this film. Erik Bloomquist definitely created something pretty weird with Long Lost, but it’s not the kind of weird that makes you want to leave.
I will say that there is a particularly odd flow to the film that leaves you giggling just as much as it leaves you tilting your head in confusion. From a film-making standpoint, the film has a lot to offer. The interior shots are dope. The lighting is dope. The colors are dope. The framing is dope. From an aesthetic standpoint, I could keep going on and on about other aspects that were dope. But then there is the plot…
Basically, a lanky 20-something, fairly boring dude named Seth (Adam Weppler) gets a weird invite to meet up with his weird- albeit long lost—brother, Richard. Seth weirdly drives to a weird mansion out in the weird country. Weirdly, he takes a few bites of bacon-wrapped asparagus and the aforementioned weird brother appears in a shockingly weird fashion. Weirdly enough, the weird brother knows an awful lot of weird details about Seth’s life and weirdly let’s that weird fact be known. Now it might seem like I am a bit obsessed with highlighting the weird, but I think that is part of the charm of this film. It’s surreal in its weirdness, while tip-toeing dangerously close to reality. And that all is just within the first few minutes and very first character interaction.
Richard, the weird brother in Long Lost, played enjoyably by Nicholas Tucci, has a rigidly bland demeanor wrapped up in some kind of violent panache–rap game’s Patrick Bateman (to borrow terminology from the eloquent songbird RiFF RAFF). This demeanor leaves Seth and the viewer tangoing between intrigue and suspicion. Like us, Seth is unsure of the environment but is pressed onward by a welcoming Richard. Then, and with a big ol’ wink, comes the sexy. Exploring the mansion, Seth stumbles in on a soon-to-be-exiting-the-shower Abby, played by Catharine Corcoran. Seth is not taken aback by this intimate flirtation, but that is not to say the encounter did not leave Seth feeling even more peculiar than he had already began to feel. But I digress.
Now it is not my place to spoil any more of the suspense, eroticism, or mystery contained within a film booked as a suspenseful erotic mystery, so I won’t; I will leave the rest of the plot sealed tightly under a super-sexy lock complete with a super-sexy key. However, I will say that Seth, Richard, and Abby create a fun-culiar dynamic that is two parts weird, one part cringy, and with the tiniest dash of erotic, in a way that leaves you wanting more and less at the same time. I have to think you want more insight, but with less stumbles. More chemistry, but with less desperation. And certainly more depth, but with a whole heck of a lot less banality. But that’s fine, I think the desire to desperately change things is a good acknowledgement of what is one of the subtextual themes. The tag-line reads, “life is how you see it,” and that fits snugly with how I viewed the film: as more of a meta-commentary about absurdity within film as a story-telling instrument.
But I could have read that wrong entirely. Long Lost could have been much more serious than I viewed it. This film could be attempting a deeper view of reality than I am giving it credit for. I doubt it though. One, because I am a narcissistic film-school graduate that totally “gets” things, and two, because at times this film really felt as though it was centered around doing that thing Robot Chicken does; you know where they make movie trailers set in the universe of board games, like a noir crime-fantasy with Hungry Hungry Hippos. But here it was the tantalizing exploits of an overly-intense game of flashlight tag, a violently competitive game of chubby bunny, or an ever-so-sexual rendition of the technically never asexual game of sharks and minnows. If that wasn’t supposed to have a degree of levity to it, then I might be more of a dingus than I like to think.
That being said, I would recommend watching Long Lost if you can withstand clichéd tropes, lackluster character development, and a relatively thinly sliced plot. The film is not a .44-magnum opus or tour de “The Force” or whatever those pretentious phrases are, but it is quaintly fun, excitingly interesting, and deceptively charming, and you know what the weird brother Richard always says, “that’s how you play fucking flash light tag.”
Worth a Look
Long Lost stars Adam Weppler as Seth, a young man invited to spend a long weekend at a Connecticut mansion with his long lost millionaire half-brother Richard who, along with his enigmatic live-in girlfriend Abby, lead Seth down a psychological rabbit hole wherein luxury and temptation are intermingled with treachery and taboo.