Although Lost Souls is coming out on Friday the 13th — just weeks before Halloween — and is about a race to prevent Satan himself from walking the earth, the film's star, Winona Ryder, balks at labeling it a horror movie. "I would call it more of a supernatural thriller because there's not a lot of gore," she argues, then adds, sweetly, "I'm not a big fan of gore."
The actress, who co-starred with Sigourney Weaver in Alien: Resurrection, explains that her predilection instead leans toward onscreen terrors that are a bit more cerebral — like her current offering. "I always find it more terrifying when you don't see the gore or you don't even see the bad guy... our imaginations can be very sick, can't they!
"The first Alien movie is a great example," she illustrates. "Tom Skerritt is in this vent, and the alien is in there, but you never see it. They never cut away to the alien. Movies [like that] are a lot scarier."
In Lost Souls, Ryder, an exorcist's apprentice, fights the good fight as demonic disciples try to derail her mission to keep the Dark Prince from possessing the body of an unsuspecting author (Ben Chaplin). To research her role, Ryder not only met with a priest who has participated in "so-called exorcisms" (as she qualifies them, noting, "I don't believe in the devil at all") and reviewed videotapes of the rituals in question, she also acquainted herself with the Good Book.
"I read the Bible for the first time," shares the actress, the daughter of a Buddhist and an atheist, "and I was so shocked. These are beautiful little stories, but they're tearing our world apart. People from Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and all over use religion to hate people, kill people and cause so much pain. It's amazing that religion is used that way.
"We're using it, just like we blame the devil for all the bad things we do," she continues. "It's like the old saying, 'The devil made me do it.' That's just ridiculous. To not take responsibility for yourself is crazy