‘Lost Child’ (2018) Is A Haunting Tale Of Loss

Lost Child is a thriller from Director Ramaa Mosley (Girl Rising 2013). Also known as Tatterdemalion, Lost Child is about an Army vet named Fern (Leven Rambin: The Hunger Games 2012) returns to her hometown in the Ozarks looking for estranged brother. She meets up with an old friend named Mike (Jim Parrack: True Blood TV series, Fury 2014) who is now working as a social worker. She eventually finds her brother, Mike (Taylor John Smith: Sharp Objects TV series, Martyrs 2015), but things go badly. It is clear that Fern and her brother have a difficult relationship.

One day when Fern is in the woods, she finds boy named Cecil (Landon Edwards: Snow 2017). He is dressed in rags and is all alone and seems very shy. When she brings him back to her house, she is immediately met with hostility by the locals in the surrounding area. The boy refuses to tell her anything about himself, but Fern tells Billy she will keep him for a few days until his parents can be found.

Fern becomes ill after taking Cecil in, and goes to see the local doctor. He warns her that there are old stories of illnesses that medicine can’t cure, and he writes a word down on a piece of paper: Tatterdemalion. It is an old folktale about a boy who is banished to the trees, and when he comes down out of them, he steals your health to keep himself young. She is warned that if she lets Cecil stay with her, her health will fade away and her hair will grow white. But is this story really true, or does Cecil hide a more terrible secret?

One of the strengths of this film is the extraordinary use of light. The first shot of Cecil has him touched in a gentle halo that gives him an eerie supernatural feel. The sweeping, beautiful shots over the Ozark mountains give them a character of their own. The acting in the film is extraordinary as well, and Leven Rambin as Fern gives a nuanced, deft performance. She is as much a lost and damaged child in this film as Cecil. Lost Child is not your standard thriller, but a slow burn that keeps you engaged until the final dark secret is revealed. This is a film of strength and grace that deserves to be seen.

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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