Title – The Lodge (2019)
Directors – Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mommy)
Cast – Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone
Plot – After the suicide of their mother, brother and sister Aiden (Martell) and Mia (McHugh) head off to a remote snow-clad lodge with their father Richard (Armitage) and his troubled ex-cult member fiance Grace (Keough) to spend Christmas together. Aiden and Mia’s coldness towards Grace at this time threatens the holiday spirit.
“We’re stuck here”
Review by Eddie on 04/06/2020
Those seeking fast moving and visceral horror experiences should be giving The Lodge a very wide berth, with directors Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz bringing the same slow burning intensity to their Hollywood debut that they established in their festival hit Goodnight Mommy, but The Lodge doesn’t make the most of the tools at its disposal as it becomes an unbelievable and meandering affair.
Filled with ample mood and atmosphere, The Lodge has moments of pure dread filled intrigue and suspense but as a cold and depressive pre-Christmas affair between grieving siblings Aiden and Mia and daddie’s new one time cult member fiancee Grace takes hold on the film, you begin to quickly grow tired of the cat and mouse games the film and its characters play on us as we sense things are not going to end up with milk and cookies around the open fire.
There’s a lot of padding in the film as Richard Armitage’s father nicely leaves his children with a damaged, mentally unstable victim of abuse of manipulation to look after them and while the film maintains a level of believability early on, that quickly gives way to a plot that never really gels the way in which it should as motivations, abilities and developments don’t always appear to be clearly defined or worked out.
Viewers don’t want their horror’s believable as such but suspension of belief can only take us so far and the core of The Lodge’s conflict’s all stem from decisions and happenings that don’t sit well, stopping the ability of its three main cast members from ensuring The Lodge becomes the next underground horror hit.
As she’s done over the last couple of years, Riley Keough is once more a standout member of an ensemble she is a part of, instilling Grace with a sense of vulnerability, menace and sadness.
Keough’s impressive turn deserved a better overall outcome and some of the films best singular scenes stem from her interactions with Jaeden Martell’s Aiden and Lia McHugh’s dole-loving Mia, with the two not always as innocent as they at times seem.
Final Say –
Filled with moments of promise and some lovingly staged mood pieces, The Lodge has some fine horror stylings to match it with the best but its disappointing narrative and murky character motivations hold it back from its potential, ending up in an unfitting finale that will soon make the film itself forgotten.
2 frozen pooches out of 5