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TRCH Classic Thriller Season

Film Review: Lost Girls

17 March 20 words: Katie Green

Netflix’s Lost Girls tells the horrific true story of Shannan Gilbert, a young girl who went missing in 2010 in Jersey City, leading to the discovery of murdered sex workers and an unknown serial killer on the loose... 

Director: Liz Garbus
Starring: Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, Lola Kirke
Running time: 95 minutes

We are first introduced to an unsettling scene of what is presumed to be Shannan Gilbert, desperately running away from a car in the dead of night and screaming for help. As an audience, we are then left wondering what has happened to this girl - and who is behind it - but it is made clear that whatever has happened in this scene is going to be important. 

Next, we meet Mari Gilbert, single mother of three daughters including Shannan. One night she receives a call from Shannan asking to come to dinner the next evening which excites her and her daughters. However, the next evening comes and Shannan is nowhere to be seen. Amy Ryan’s part as Mari makes Lost Girls a more authentic performance as a harrowed mother who is desperate to find her missing daughter. Her determination and strong persona show audiences how determined the real Mari Gilbert was to find her daughter and find out the truth behind what happened to her. 

Makes for a distressing watch as it reveals all angles within this true disappearance case

Performances such as these make the film more intense and leave audiences immersed and impacted. It also allows the audience to feel empathy for this family, especially Mari, who has been put into a situation nobody should ever have to be in. In general, Lost Girls makes for a distressing watch as it reveals all angles within this true disappearance case, but keeps audiences invested by making them connect with the characters. However, there is a shocking scene near the end of the film that might not have been completely necessary to include, as it is likely to make audiences feel more than a little bit uncomfortable.

Ultimately, Lost Girls is a must-watch for anyone interested in true crime thrillers, to experience a dramatisation of such a devastating case. However, for those who aren’t into these sorts of films, Lost Girls is still highly recommended for anyone wanting to experience an ongoing mystery. 

Did you know? Actress Thomasin McKenzie dropped out of Top Gun: Maverick to work on this film

Lost Girls is available on Netflix now