7/10 After “The Turning”, “Brahms: The Boy II” and “Gretel & Hansel” ended up ranging from terrible to mediocre, I was finally rewarded with a good horror film that stayed with me for a while after I left the theater. Although “The Lodge” isn’t perfect, it overall succeeds in keeping the audience guessing, throwing twists and turns at us, avoiding lazy jump scares, setting the atmosphere up well and providing us with solid performances. The acting across the board is great but it was relative newcomer and 12-year-old actress Lia McHugh who impressed me the most. I really dug the mixed use of score and silence. Sometimes the silence was deafening as characters wander through the dark house and we hear their heavy breathing and creaky footsteps on the wooden floorboards. Other times we are blasted with sudden jolts of organ music, which fits in with the film’s religious undertones. The sound editing and mixing combined with the score kept me in suspense and with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. The storyline was mostly original (more on that later) but as I mentioned earlier, the true talent of the film’s directors was never letting the film become predicable. As soon as you think you know what’s going on, we are thrown yet another curveball that destroys our preconceived notions of what is happening. Even the film’s climax is a bit open ended, which worked really well and left a continued sense of dread. As for the film’s flaws, within the opening 10 minutes, you could easily see how influenced this film was by 2018’s “Hereditary”. Both films have a death in the opening few scenes and tiny miniatures factor into both films rather heavily. “The Lodge” is no “Hereditary” however and its homages are rather heavy handed. Some characters (mainly the father), also make some inexplicably terrible decisions that ultimately puts everyone in danger and that really only happen to allow the plot to move forward. Finally, the film does get to cheat a little bit with what is real and what isn’t by using hallucinations whenever it feels like, which I felt slightly diminished the overall quality of the film. That being said, this is a good movie and with all of the recent weak offerings, this is a very pleasant surprise that any horror fan can appreciate. When trying to decide if this is a good horror film to check out or not, don’t dodge “The Lodge”.
#StarringHeathLodger / #ForAllRepentsAndPurposes / #HailSatanFullOfGrace / #UnderTheSilverstoneLake / #ThrillsChillsAndPills / #ADogAndPhonyShow