Alright, beasties. It’s that spooky time of year again. For this edition of Spooktober, I’m going to do a post a day but, like a great haul after trick or treating, I’m hoping to mix it up and deliver some surprises. There’ll be reviews, new or old, seen/unseen, TV or film. There may also be lists, audio, or video, depending on my wicked mood. I hope you’ll enjoy it and remember: stay spooky.
This is definitely an experience. And by that, I mean, a deeply unpleasant one. It was a terrifically done film, but not one I want to revisit again anytime soon.
Grace (Riley Keough), Richard (Richard Armitage) and his son Aidan (Jaeden Martell), and daughter Mia (Lia McHugh) decide to go to a remote cabin for Christmas. The family is reeling from tragedy after Richard left his wife for Grace and she committed suicide. Grace, is also dealing with a past trauma of her own, which becomes a big part of the torment and psychological breakdown that occurs throughout The Lodge.
When Richard has to suddenly leave for work, Grace is left with the children, and when a blizzard comes, the three are trapped there. While it isn’t clear what’s occurring until a gut punch of an end, the three begin to question their surroundings and what’s happened. The children also feel resentful of Grace and use every opportunity to make things even more difficult. The kind of horror it is shifts from survival to existential, before escalating to a psychological nightmare fairly fast, with a methodical nature in the way it delivers the pacing and its reveals.
Riley Keough gives a spectacular performance of a woman reliving the pain of her trauma, and this chilling horror builds an atmosphere that is thick and haunting. Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala there are some misdirections on where it is going, making its final moments staggering.
I completely understand why some viewers do not like this movie. Some aspects of the story seem far-fetched, but when reflecting on the decisions made one can understand how Grace’s character was slowly spiraling and that her recognition of plausibility is skewed. I was not on edge, in anticipation of what was to come, and even when it did, it still unraveled me.
Dark and dripping with stomach-turning, ample dread, and incredible lead performance, The Lodge isn’t a perfect movie, but damn does it not take up a heavy residence in your brain.