The Reel Review


An Army veteran traumatized both by battle and a dysfunctional childhood returns to her late father’s home in the Missouri Ozarks, where she takes in a young boy wandering the woods. While trying to determine the mysterious boy’s identity she gets sick, fueling speculation among local townsfolk that the boy is a tatterdemalion, a lifedraining spirit that takes the form of a young child.

Leven Rambin and Landon Edwards, as Fern and Cecil, in Lost Child.

Co-writer/director Ramaa Mosley’s slow burn of a thriller is a well written story about the power of superstition. The film’s sense of despair is accentuated by dilapidated, shack-like homes scattered amidst the natural beauty of the Ozarks. The impressive onscreen chemistry between Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games, True Detective) and young Landon Edwards, in his acting debut, gives this subtle story loads of authenticity and heart.

Just when you think you have figured out where the plot is headed, Mosley changes course and turns up the suspense, leading to a pretty thrilling, realistic finale, all the while injecting into Lost Child a pretty compelling social commentary – the result is a pretty impressive film.


Lost Child, originally named Tatterdemalion, was filmed in West Plains, Missouri.

• Leven Rambin (Glimmer in The Hunger Games) and Lost Child co-star Jim Parrack (HBO’s True Blood) were married for 16 months before announcing their split in March 2017.

• That is Leven Rambin singing the folk song “Wayfaring Stranger” during the film’s closing credits.

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  1. Tina July 15, 2022

    This is one of the best movies I have seen in quite a while! Every time I see it is on, I watch it again. That is not normal for me at all! Normally if I see a movie, I don’t ever have any desire to wath it again. I cry. Every single time, when Cecil realizes why people treat him badly. My heart shatters.

    1. Abb Jones July 27, 2022

      It truly is a beautifully told film. So glad you discovered it too!