Neverlost Chad Archibald

Neverlost Chad Archibald
A love story buried behind a mysterious identity crisis, Neverlost is an admirable attempt to tell a poignant tale of loss in a dynamic way with a very low budget, but one that's ultimately undermined by a few poor, pivotal supporting performances and a tendency to dwell in sentimentality. Writer/director Chad Archibald borrows a risky page from the Fight Club playbook, having protagonist Josh Higgins (Ryan Barrett) address the camera directly after an introductory montage of lovers entwined, set to a happy sappy folk song. He can't sleep and during the few breaks in his general despondency, he concocts scenarios of release for his murderous rage. This pouty malaise doesn't do his relationship with fiery wife Megan any favours, their civility devolving as Chad seeks increasingly extreme measures to combat his insomnia. When a double dose of sleeping pills finally does the trick, Chad finds himself awakening in a preferred reality where his first love, Kate, didn't die in a horrible fire and he's been in a coma for years. Chad's desperation to trade realities intensifies as he begins to unravel layers of the mystery surrounding the fire, resolving to recapture his ideal existence and further alienating Megan with his obvious dissatisfaction in the process. Neverlost loses its footing when the third act turns into a preventative murder mystery and certain plot threads feel unresolved after a few major twists are revealed. An alternate ending usually signifies a lack of confidence in the film's ultimate message, but Chad Archibald just tightened the scene included here for the official cut, restraining some mawkishness and taking a shorter path to the same emotional resolution. Two behind-the-scenes featurettes are included, one demonstrating how to legally burn down a house and the other assembling footage from the crew's trip to the Taipei Film Festival. The deleted scenes aren't anything special and you won't likely find much of interest in the feature commentary track, aside from Archibald pointing out locations in Guelph, Ontario, where much of the film was shot. Including a selection of tracks from the sometimes sombre and beautiful, sometimes just schmaltzy soundtrack is a nice touch though. Give this one a watch when you're in a patient and forgiving mood. (Anchor Bay)