Directors: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala
Writers: Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz, and Severin Fiala
Starring: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, and Richard Armitage
Plot: A woman with a tragic, cult related past and her soon to be step-children, who don’t like her, are stuck in a cabin together in the dead of winter.
Review: Ok, so here’s the thing. This is going to be a relatively short review. In fact, I almost didn’t end up doing one for it at all. Why? Because it’s super hard to discuss what makes The Lodge great without spoiling the crap out of it. And, I want your potential experience with this movie to be as pure and batshit insane as mine was. Because I knew absolutely nothing going in and it was fun to guess where this movie was going as the plot unraveled. So, I’ll say what I can, but, unfortunately, that won’t be much.
First off, the plot of The Lodge is insane. I spent the first half of the movie trying to even figure out what type of horror film this was. Is it a cult movie? Is it a creepy kid movie? Something along the lines of The Shining? Or The Conjuring? Honestly, I had no idea. But, I was having a blast trying to figure it out. Then, when everything does reveal itself, I was floored by what they were presenting. I really, really enjoyed where this movie went. It was an insane ride with one of those endings that leaves you sitting there stunned as the credits roll. However, I can also see where some wouldn’t enjoy it as much, because it’s not exactly as advertised. But, I’m a fan of the new, “artsier” wave of horror and the twist was a big hit for me, so this was right up my alley.
Speaking of artsy, this movie is beautifully shot. Each and every scene could be a painting on someone’s wall. There were so many gorgeous establishing shots of the cabin and just people roaming around to really give you a feel for how isolated they really were. And, the lighting definitely created that cold, wintery vibe. It really felt like you were stranded with them. Plus, the constant shots of religious imagery shot in probably the scariest possible way really showed the lead character’s uncomfortable relationship with religion in a jarring way. It felt a lot like The Shining or an Edgar Allan Poe poem. There was dark, creepy foreshadowing and symbolism everywhere. It’s really freaking effective.
Lastly, I can’t wrap up this review without talking about how absolutely amazing Riley Keough is in it. She’s been a bit of an indie darling the last couple of years, giving good performance after good performance without becoming a household name. She’s definitely been one of my favorites though. And, The Lodge is probably my favorite role she’s had yet. Again, it’s hard to talk about without giving specifics, but her character unravels in a very real, very scary way. You can tell exactly where this character is coming from and empathize with her almost every step of the way. She’s a truly damaged human being and to see her get thrown into a scary situation again is just heartbreaking.
I can definitely say I loved The Lodge. It’s not for everybody. It’s a bit of a slow burn, especially for a horror movie. And, the twist is one of those that you’re either going to really enjoy or really hate. I happened to think it was brilliant. Plus, the atmosphere and performances are top notch. In fact, I think my own review talked me into watching it again. It’s that good.
TL;DR: The Lodge is a very good, atmospheric horror film with an absolutely chilling plot.
Score: 9/10 (Amazing)