The Lodgers (Movie Review) – A Gothic Horror Film


The 2017 Brian O’Malley-directed Irish movie “The Lodgers” is a gothic supernatural thriller set in the 1920s. It follows two orphaned twins who are confined to their crumbled mansion and bound to live a life with almost no contact with the outside world.

Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and her twin brother, Edward (Bill Milner) are bound to live a mysterious life in their now dilapidating mansion, as a punishment for their forefathers’ sins. Edward stays inside almost all the time, fearing any consequences to the result of the strict rules, but Rachel ventures out occasionally to the nearby village for groceries.

Both are mindful of the rules of a haunting childhood lullaby. The twins must not allow anyone inside the house, they must be in their rooms by the chime of midnight and must never be separated from one another.

Watch the “The Lodgers” Movie Trailer

“The Lodgers” plotline looks impressive with a historical setup but never really takes advantage of its rich setup inside a 700-year-old mansion. Thinking about any period drama, we must acknowledge the fact that the makers have done an amazing job in building that old yet beautiful atmosphere that at times becomes claustrophobic as the storyline moves.

However, the movie failed miserably in its effort to translate a more sinister setting as the story did not hold much substance until the end. Whether it’s a romantic angle, evil domination, or even the drama between the brother and sister, the film almost everywhere shines too little to drive our imagination.

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The reason people would probably not like much of the film is the lack of spookiness. If I wanted to watch a horror movie and end up watching a drama, then there was certainly something missing in the direction. “The Lodgers” displays many confusing elements while it never really tries to establish the situations, including that romantic angle and some mysterious secrets.

Things that go well or at least try to conceal some of its loopholes include cinematography and some decent performance by its principal characters.

“The Lodgers” movie is beautiful to watch with some amazing shots which we generally visualize while reading books with this kind of story. You will have that Gothic feel of a classic Victorian-era ghost story but somehow that never translates into the overall narration and we end up missing many more things amid those mysterious secrets by the time we approach “The Lodgers” movie ending.

 “The Lodgers” has its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and was a closing night feature at the 50th Sitges Film Festival in Spain. 

Genre: Supernatural Thriller, Horror
Cast: Bill Milner, Charlotte Vega, David Bradley, Eugene Simon, Deirdre O’Kane, Moe Dunford
Director: Brian O’Malley
Writer: David Turpin
Music: Stephen Shannon, David Turpin
Editor: Tony Kearns
Release Date/Year: September 8, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)

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Where to Watch “The Lodgers”?

“The Lodgers” is now available for streaming or on rent on multiple platforms.

Where to watch "The Lodgers" (2017)
This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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