“The Lodge” (Film Review) – Dreaded Winter, A Creepy Cabin, and A Stepmom with A Sinister Past

“The Lodge” (Film Review) – Dreaded Winter, A Creepy Cabin, and A Stepmom with A Sinister Past

Directors of “Goodnight Mommy” (Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala) are well up with yet another horror film – “The Lodge”. While it is not better than the previous one, Riley Keough’s performance prompts us to stay till the end. Nevertheless, the setting of dreaded winter, a remote cabin, and a soon-to-be stepmom with a weird past somehow set an intriguing plot.

So, “The Lodge” follows Grace who joins her fiancé Richard (a journalist) and his two children on a winter holiday to spend some time understanding each other. The two kids Aidan and Mia are struggling to cope with the passing of their mother, who kills herself a few months back when she hears Richard’s intention to marry Grace.

Grace has a rather strange past with a connection to some extremist Christian cult, led by her father, who was the cause of a mass suicide in which Grace was the sole survivor. Richard met her while doing some research on the cult. While the children still hold their father and Grace responsible for their mother’s death and even come to know something about Grace’s sinister past, they agree for the time-off because of their father’s persistence.

“The Lodge” is now streaming on Amazon Prime

Just as the stepmom and the two kids start spending time together, while the father is forced to go out for work, “The Lodge” jumps into the creepy side, as strange and frightening things begin to appear. Sounds quite silly, as to how come a father leaves her children alone with a woman with such a disturbing past. Moreover, in a frozen lodge with snow all around, anything can go wrong in one scene we see Grace falling into a fish hole.

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Riley Keough shines in this haunting drama “The Lodge”

Leaving aside its silly premise, the film somehow successfully pulls it to some extent with an interesting performance by Riley Keough. That character design is such that it keeps us guessing about her motives, building the suspense elements. Sometimes we see her as caring, while in others, her silence and her psychological ailments come to the fore. The isolated setup further intensifies the events.

The Austrian filmmaker duo in their English language debut to a large extent does a good job in focusing on character development and story but they invest too much time in building the storyline. “The Lodge” does not have any gore or over-the-top supernatural elements, and it is more a psychological drama than any traditional horror flick.

“The Lodge” (Film Review) – Dreaded Winter, A Creepy Cabin, and A Stepmom with A Sinister Past
The 2019 psychological horror film “The Lodge” starring Riley Keough

Nevertheless, if we hold on until the last 30 minutes then you would enjoy this haunting drama for its claustrophobic interiors of the lodge, the eerie feeling in an isolated location, and the core idea of guilt and sin. Also, the portrayal of a mental breakdown and how it can cloud our ability to differentiate between reality and hallucination. In the end, you may even find any other explanation of the ending of “The Lodge” – including the idea that the characters have already died from the very beginning like what we have seen in films like “The Others”.

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We will save the whole possibility of The Lodge’s ending for another post. You may share your feedback in the comment section below, which we would include in our next blog post.

“The Lodge” Movie – Additional Details

Starring: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, and Richard Armitage.
Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy).
Cinematography Thimios Bakatakis
Music by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans
Release Date/Year: In Cinemas on Feb 7, 2020; on Streaming Platform May 05, 2020

Where to watch The Lodge (2020)
This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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