The Lodge (CIFF 2019)

When parents get divorced and start to see other people, it can be difficult to get the children to warm to the new partners they choose. Such is the case with The Lodge, which forces two children to begin to bond with their new soon-to-be stepmother. It’s Christmastime and Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) are going up to the family’s cabin with Grace (Riley Keough) in what their father (Richard Armitage) hopes will be a good chance for the children to get to know his new beau. Sounds like a good idea, and at first it appears like it might be. But it’s a horror movie, so things go south, sanity gets questioned, and fun times are had by almost nobody.

I include the audience in that statement, although one could argue whether horror movies are supposed to be fun for us, anyway. But I digress. The Lodge is often aimless and predictable, which is where that lack of enjoyment comes from. It takes too long to get going, and once it does it’s easy to see the path it’s wanting to walk far before it wants you to. Only a couple of quick visual shocks and strong atmosphere building keep us awake. Well, those and the performances—Keough’s in particular, which the film relies on too heavily at times.

Slow burns can work and The Lodge gets partway there, but it’s ultimately little more than its atmosphere and performances. That carries it a decent amount of the way, admittedly, and since it’s not especially long, it’s not torturous to sit through. If you find yourself trapped at a winter cabin with psychologically unwell individuals and a snowstorm preventing you from leaving, perhaps it’ll be worth putting on.

Conclusion: The Lodge is moderately successful in building atmosphere but fails to bring everything together in an entertaining package.

Recommendation: If you like slow-burn and atmospheric horror films, The Lodge may be worth your time.

  • 5/10
    Rating - 5/10

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