‘Look outside, we’re stuck here…’
There are a number of horror film tropes that will always get a positive reaction out of me. Creepy children. Yep. Mental health issues. Absolutely. Links to religion. Bingo. Clearly, the old Catholic guilt is ever present, and apparently I have fears that one day I might go mad. Creepy children? I guess they are just weird aren’t they? Best not to dig too deep into that one…
What is supposed to be a bonding trip between a father (Richard Armitage), his children (Jaeden Martell and Lia McHugh) and their soon-to-be stepmom Grace (Riley Keough) takes a sharp turn when past traumas make a disastrous return.
The Lodge wears its influences on its sleeve, but if you can pull off a cross between The Shining, The Omen and the films of M. Night Shyamalan and still come out with a film that feels innovative and original, then you must be doing something right. Co-directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz manage to combine startling religious imagery with bluntly effective acts of violence, whilst still finding the time to throw in some believable character development and a plot that twists and turns to a thrilling conclusion. Whenever I came close to figuring out what was happening, the rug was pulled out from under me and, once again, I was left staring open mouthed at my TV screen.
My one criticism would be that I didn’t really believe the relationship at the core of the movie. Richard Armitage and Riley Keough do a great job individually, particularly Keough who is mesmerising throughout, but they never convinced me as a couple. That is a minor criticism however, this is one of the best horror films I’ve seen in ages, and I would suggest it is essential viewing for any fans of the genre.
The Lodge stuck with me long after the credits had rolled, and it brought to mind my own childhood terror of religious iconography. Most of all, it scared me. That’s what we’re all here for after all.