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The Lodge: An Excellent Horror Film That is Haunting and Memorable

February 6, 2020
Poster courtesy of Neon

The Lodge is an atmospheric horror film that explores grief, loneliness and what happens when you’re stuck with your significant other’s kids inside a snowed in lodge for several days. It’s a dread-filled experience that features a beautiful looking descent into insanity, and it proves directors Veronkia Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy) have become experts of creating psychological horror films that revolve around isolation, paranoia and static camera shots that create oppressive worlds (I wish I had the money for the Panasonic Primo and Ultra Speed MK II lenses used throughout the film).

To dive into spoilers would be doing you a disservice. Just know that The Lodge is about an irresponsible dad named Richard (Richard Armitage) leaving his two children Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHigh) alone in a remote lodge with his soon-to-be-fiance Grace (Riley Keough). The kids dislike Grace, and blame her for their mother’s suicide (it’s a dark movie), so, naturally their time alone with her is not ideal (in a neat bit of foreshadowing, they watch John Carpenter’s The Thing together). Throw in the fact that Grace was the only survivor of a mass-suicide that was spearheaded by her cult leader father when she was 12, and you have a recipe for some cold weather mayhem.

What makes The Lodge so effective is the cinematography by Thimios Bakatakis (Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) He makes the best of the tight corridors and long halls in the lodge by using a 1.85:1 aspect ratio (as opposed to the widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio) to make the cabin hallways and rooms seem tall, ominous and empty. I love how the camera stays mostly static, and alternates between wide shots and closeups that successfully create anxiety and dread.

The production design by Sylvain Lemaitre (Small Crimes, Turbo Kid) is also excellent, as the red Christmas decorations stand out amongst the grey clouds and brown walls. Also, the warm colors emitted by the lamps, and slivers of light that shine through the frosted windows create a homey-yet-cold vibe that works well within the scarcely decorated lodge. I never thought I’d say this, but, the purposefully drab colors made me miss the clean, open, and sunlight-drenched interior design of the modernist home in Goodnight Mommy. Both movies are terrifying, but, at least you’d get a tan while going through the terrible ordeal in Goodnight Mommy.

The Lodge is an oppressively bleak film (in a good way) that doesn’t pull punches or look for easy ways out. Despite it’s bleak tone, I found it to be more accessible and human than Goodnight Mommy, and I found myself dreading the outcome because I liked the people involved. If you are looking for an excellent horror film, I totally recommend The Lodge.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2020 3:37 pm

    Sounds intriguing! Will look for this film. Goodnight Mommy was super creepy.

    • February 6, 2020 3:43 pm

      Hopefully you enjoy! I loved it. Wish I could write more, but didn’t want any spoilers.

  2. February 6, 2020 3:40 pm

    Still can’t find a showing in Denver! Can’t wait to see this! Thanks for the review.

    • February 6, 2020 3:41 pm

      Welcome! I wanted to write more, but I didn’t want to spoil anything

  3. February 15, 2020 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the missing spoilers, sounds like it needs to be one to be seen not knowing what is going to happen. I think of Hereditary and The Perfection in the same way. Tried to find this one, currently a purchase only on disk on Amazon so doesn’t do me any good. Maybe Google will have it as a rental. Look forward to seeing it.

    • February 15, 2020 8:47 pm

      Let me know what you think when you watch it! It’s a gnarly one.

Trackbacks

  1. Top That: Five Movies I Probably Shouldn’t Have Paid to See | Thomas J
  2. The Lodge: An Excellent Horror Film That is Haunting and Memorable — Movies, Films & Flix – Festival for HORROR

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