In this freezing cabin, all Hell breaks loose.
To say that the recent best horror films are found in the artisan films market (“Hereditary,” “The Babadook,” etc.) would sound derivative, but “The Lodge” is among those films. Writers and directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (the two behind “Goodnight Mommy”) both allow the audience to guess the terrifying directions, while being inspired by classic horror entries like “The Thing” and “The Shining.” Especially since, this movie is set in a freezing environment.
You must acknowledge that when a specific person has a dark past, you’re bound for danger, even if you anticipate it. It all depends on how smart or dumb the script is written. As you keep watching, you learn it’s a smart and challenging one at best.
It begins with the suicidal death of a woman (Alicia Silverstone), who finds out her soon-to-be ex-husband (Richard Armitage) is planning to marry his mistress. Their two kids-Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh from the upcoming “The Eternals”)-are both miserable and infuriated at her, whom they refuse to meet.
Her name is Grace (Riley Keough), and the kids learn she was the sole survivor of a cult suicide at a young age. Despite their hatred for her, their father decides to have them meet her on the mountains during the holidays.
But after their father leaves for work, all Hell begins to break loose.
No power, food, or phone connections.
Those issues, and the two estimates that they’re either in some kind of purgatory or the evil from Grace’s cult hasn’t been eradicated.
I’m viewing “The Lodge” with anticipation, as I admire true horror films, and not loud and bombastic jump scares. This is a patient one, complete with original characters, narrative, and terrors. Believe me, once in a while, when you least expect it, you will hear a loud noise. And just in case, you’re in a slow-moving situation, cover your ears. That’s my trick to preventing horror heart attacks.
The performances here are emotional and unbelievable. I spoke with the directors and young actors after the screening with may congratulations, and asked Martell as question about the genres he’s in. He explains that it’s not about genres, it’s about the scripts he’s given. Coming on the heels of “It,” he continues to amaze us with his acting and vulnerability. This also marks the first time, I’ve heard of McHugh, and she’s outstanding in the ways she tears up, never follows any movie-kid cliches. And credit must also go to Keough, who commits to her part by trying to act like a good girl, when she’s really deranged.
Kudos to Fiala and Franz for developing another film without formulaic cliches, stupid mistakes, or cash-strapped motivation. They’ve developed one of the year’s most interesting and chilling films.
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