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Friday, February 21, 2020

The Lodge (2020) - Movie Review


The Movie: The Lodge

The Director: Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

The Cast: Richard Armitage, Riley Keough, Alicia Silverstone, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh

The Story: A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé's two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place.


The Review:
So, there's scary movies and then there's scary movies. There's the kind of movies that have you jumping out of your seat with scares and frights and lots of gory action and then there's the kind that get inside your head and leave you all kinds of messed up thinking about all the stress and unease and creepiness you just saw on screen. The Lodge definitely leans more towards the latter with a  deliberately paced narrative that unfolds in a similarly unnerving manner as the film making team's 2014 cult classic and film festival hit, Goodnight Mommy.

If you've seen Goodnight Mommy, you will definitely be able to recognize a lot of the same film making techniques although I would say they are much more refined and polished this time around. The look and feel of this movie also reminds me a lot of Hereditary, especially when it comes to the dark, moody tone of the film and the not so subtle imagery that is constant metaphor and signaling of impending doom. For me, the end result was more drama than horror as none of it was really scary or hitting those intense emotional buttons you're hoping for from this type of film.

The real highlight of the production is the superb cast brought on board to bring the characters to life. As the lead role, Riley Keough is asked to do a lot and boy does she go through a lot delivering a performance where it's nearly impossible to decipher whether she is the antagonist, the protagonist, or a victim within the story. The twists and turns and traumas her character goes through are a major source of what makes this movie work and you're never quite sure what she is going to next or what she us capable of. I suppose that's where a lot of the horror comes from is the mental instability she exhibits based on both her past and present situations.

Having Richard Armitage in your movie is always a good thing although I felt like he didn't have nearly enough to do and one could probably say the same about Alicia Silverstone who has even less screen time than Armitage. The two kids who are brother and sister in the movie, are played by Jaeden Martell who has been on a role lately in movies like Knives Out and the It franchise as well as Lia McHugh who will soon be stepping into what is probably the largest spotlight you can find taking a role in the upcoming Marvel movie Eternals.


The Verdict:
The Lodge is highly effective as a dark, creepy horror movie that is filled with twists and turns around every dimly lit corner. There is a cold beauty in the darkness of the story and an unnerving dread that will stick with you like frost on a cold winter morning.


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