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The Lodge

Directors: Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz

Writers: Sergio Casci, Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz

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


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.


INITIAL REACTIONC. First, I regret not being able to see this again and doing the review in such a quick turnaround, because it’s something that one needs to digest to get the full effect. The Lodge is the next great horror movie to divide its community. Like The Witch, it will have people commenting with the “is it horror?” debate, because of its lack of outright scares. I’m here to say that there’s no question that it’s a horror movie. Thanks to a minimal (yet effective) sound design, harrowing imagery and heartbreakingly authentic performances, one could dislike it based on personal taste but they can’t deny its masterful execution. While I’m going to wait some time before I officially make this statement, I may prefer this to their first feature, Goodnight Mommy, which I also really enjoyed. Like Goodnight Mommy, this features a twist and POV shift that makes it difficult to speak about major plot points throughout. I’m sure people will complain that they saw the twist coming a mile away but I don’t think that’s the point since there’s still a good amount of story to tell after the reveal. Still for the sake of any reader that hasn’t seen it yet I won’t spoil anything. Fiala and Franz have spoken about their enjoyment of working with children and this is present within the film since they handle the impressionable mentality of a child better than I’ve seen in a long time. Credit has to be given to the performances of Martell and McHugh who are able to stand alongside the powerful adults they’re performing with. The Lodge is one that is going to sit with me for awhile, which continues to prove that you don’t need something to rapidly spring out on screen to make an effective horror movie. J. So this is one you should go into totally blind and if you’ve seen Goodnight Mommy, you know exactly why I’m making the suggestion.  There’s shit that happens that would be very easy to spoil just like these filmmakers’ last project.  The story hits the ground running with an insane and brutal and harrowing opening 5 to 10 minutes and then pumps the brakes a little in terms of pace and settles into a slow burn, tension filled masterclass.  The atmosphere is palpable in this and the setting couldn’t be more perfect.  It’s like The Shining but on a smaller scale.  The characters are in a lodge in the middle of nowhere during blizzard-like conditions and this setting is utilized in a tremendously nightmarish effect.  The performances are all wonderful too but I have to say that Riley Keough steals the show and it’s awesome seeing Alicia Silverstone in a film and role that is so different for her.  The Lodge continues the borderline art house horror phenomenon. K.  The film begins with simple shots of the interior of a miniature cabin, one that represents the Lodge of the title and from that opening shot there is a quiet tension that builds and builds.  The simple setup, two kids and their soon-to-be stepmother stuck together in the family lodge for a few days in the dead of winter, leads to a constantly shifting psychological horror as reality and delusion become indistinguishable.  I’ll leave it there as far as the synopsis goes so as not to spoil anything. This is an austere near-masterpiece.  Masterfully shot and directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz.  Riley Keough gives an incredible performance as Grace, the soon-to-be stepmother.  The cinematography and lighting effortlessly evoke the cold, empty feeling of the Lodge itself.  While I did wish that the third act moved at a faster pace, it was nonetheless a finely crafted film full of genuinely cringe worthy moments. 


RESPONSE  

C. This is one where all three of us seem to be in the same boat. Yes, you can find a little issues here and there with pacing and some choices that feel like a Hereditary knockoff but none of it impacted my watch. The Lodge brought me into their lived-in world and while I’d personally never want to be there, my eyes were glued to the screen at all times. J. And not surprisingly, us good folks at Bloodhound Pix recognize a great film when we see one.  This will most likely end up on my best of the year list and we’re only at the end of the 2nd month.  There was really only one major thing that I had an issue with and I can’t say what it was for spoiler reasons but it doesn’t change my opinion of this flick.  It’s terrific and you should be paying attention to these filmmakers if you weren’t already.  K.  We are in consensus here.  An absolute must see, maybe not for everyone but top shelf work on all levels.  I also have to say I loved Alicia Silverstone’s small part in this, which I won’t go into detail on because spoilers.  But it was great to see her pop up in a different kind of role and it was brilliant casting given the resemblance between her and Riley Keough.  Looking forward to more films from this directing duo. Bloodhound’s average score: 4 1/2 out of 5